Objective scoring of the post-operative neurological function did not correlate with patient-perceived outcomes in Degenerative cervical myelopathy outcome (DCM). Traditional testing of motor and sensory function as part of the neurological assessment may not be sensitive enough to assess the scope of neurological changes experienced by Degenerative cervical myelopathy patients 1).
Hamdan assessed the relation between MRI T2 Weighted images (T2WI) hyperintense cord signal and clinical outcome after anterior cervical discectomy in patients with degenerative cervical disc herniation.
This retrospective observational study was conducted on twenty-five patients with degenerative cervical disc prolapse associated with MRI T2WI hyperintense cord signal, at the Department of Neurosurgery, Qena University Hospital, South Valley University from August 2014 to December 2016. A complete clinical and radiological evaluation of the patients was done. Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion was done for all patients. Patients were clinically assessed preoperatively and postoperatively at 3, 6, and 12 months using Modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association scale (MJOA). Radiographic assessment was done by preoperative and postoperative T2WI MRI. The statistical analysis was done using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software (version 22.0).
There were 25 patients included in the study; 16 (64%) females and 9 (36%) males. The mean age was 46.89 ± 7.52 standard deviation (SD) years with range from 26 to 64 years, 3 (12%) patients had worsened in the form of postoperative motor power deterioration, and 14 (56%) patients has no improvement and remain as preoperative condition. The remaining 8 (32%) patients had a reported postoperative improvement of symptoms and signs according to MJOA score. The mean follow-up period (in months) was 11 ± 2.34 (SD). Conclusion:
The presence of T2W hyperintense signal on preoperative MRI predicts a poor surgical outcome in patients with cervical disc prolapse. The regression of T2W ISI postoperatively correlates with better functional outcomes 2).
Whilst decompressive surgery can halt disease progression, existing spinal cord damage is often permanent, leaving patients with lifelong disability.
Early surgery improves the likelihood of recovery, yet the average time from onset of symptoms to correct diagnosis is over 2 years. The majority of delays occur initially, before and within primary care, mainly due to a lack of recognition. Symptom checkers are widely used by patients before medical consultation and can be useful for preliminary triage and diagnosis. Lack of recognition of Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy (DCM) by symptom checkers may contribute to the delay in diagnosis.
The impact of the changes in myelopathic signs following cervical decompression surgery and their relationship to functional outcome measures remains unclear.
Surgery is associated with a significant quality of life improvement. The intervention is cost effective and, from the perspective of the hospital payer, should be supported 3).
Surgical decompression for CSM is safe and results in improved functional status and quality of life in patients around the world, irrespective of differences in medical systems and socio-cultural determinants of health 4).
The successful management of CSM depends upon an early and accurate diagnosis, an objective assessment of impairment and disability, and an ability to predict outcome. In this field, quantitative measures are increasingly used by clinicians to grade functional and neurological status and to provide decision-making support 5).
A validated “gold standard,” however, has not been established, preventing the development of quantitative guidelines for CSM management 14).
Some studies have found that resolution of T2 hyperintensity in subjects with CSM who undergo ventral decompressive surgery correlates with improved functional outcomes. Other studies have found little correlation with postoperative outcome 15) 16).