Anterior Surgical Techniques for Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy: WFNS Spine Committee Recommendations

World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) Spine Committee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: This study was performed to review the literature and to present the most up-to-date information and recommendations on the indications, complications, and success rate of anterior surgical techniques for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM). The commonly performed anterior surgical procedures are multiple-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion and its variants (skip corpectomy and hybrid surgery), and oblique corpectomy without fusion. Methods: A comprehensive literature search and analysis were performed using MEDLINE (PubMed), the Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials, and the Web of Science for peer-reviewed articles published in English during the last 10 years. Results: Corpectomy is mandated for ventral compression of fewer than 3 vertebral segments where single-level disc and osteophyte excision is inadequate to decompress the cord. Endoscopic or oblique partial corpectomy improves the sagittal canal diameter by 67% and obviates the need for an additional bone graft procedure. Conclusion: The indications of anterior surgery in patients with CSM include a straightened or kyphotic spine with a compression level lower than 3. With an appropriate choice of implants and meticulous surgical technique, surgical complications can be seen only rarely. Improvements after anterior surgery for CSM have been reported in 70% to 80% of patients.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)408-420
    Number of pages13
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sept


    • Cervical spondylosis
    • Complications
    • Compressive myelopathy
    • Discectomy
    • Outcomes assessment

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery
    • Clinical Neurology


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