Research Article: Surgical treatment of cervical spondylosis in patients 80 years of age and older—A retrospective observational study

Date Published: June 26, 2019

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Kiyoshi Ito, Takuya Nakamura, Tetsuyoshi Horiuchi, Kazuhiro Hongo, Giovanni Grasso.


The older adult population in developed countries is rapidly increasing, as is the number of older adults with cervical spondylosis. Previous studies on the surgical outcomes of older adults with cervical spondylosis have reported contradictory results. This study aimed to compare the surgical outcomes in adults with cervical spondylosis who were <80 and ≥80 years old. We retrospectively investigated data from adults who underwent surgical treatment for cervical spondylosis between 2006 and 2016. The clinical outcomes and postoperative complications of patients who were <80 years old were compared to those of patients who were ≥80 years old. Of the 108 patients included in the study, 14 (13.0%) were ≥80 years old. The preoperative neurosurgical cervical spine score was significantly different between patients who were <80 (9.1 ± 2.4) and ≥80 (6.1 ± 2.1) years old (p < .001). The recovery rate was 58.2 ± 30.0% and 41.3 ± 24.7% in patients who were <80 and ≥80 years old, respectively (p = .05). However, the number of recovery points scored was 2.8 ± 2.0 and 3.4 ± 2.3 in patients who were <80 and ≥80 years old, respectively, which was not significantly different. Although 12 patients had medical comorbidities, they had no surgical complications. This study clarifies the benefits of surgical treatment for older adults with cervical spondylosis. Generally, older adults have lower recovery rates and are unlikely to experience full recovery; however, surgery for cervical spondylosis appears to improve patients’ quality of life.

Partial Text

The older adult population is increasing in most developed countries. According to a survey conducted by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, the population of individuals 80 years of age or older in Japan was more than 10,020,000 in 2017, which accounted for 7.9% of the entire population.

Written informed consent was obtained from all individuals included in the study. The study was conducted according to the principles expressed in the Declaration of Helsinki and the protocol was approved by our Shinshu University Institutional Review Board (No. 4034).

According to these results, although patients ≥80 years of age are unlikely to experience complete recovery following surgery, it may be possible to achieve an improvement in their quality of life. The results of this study should be considered when managing patients ≥80 years old with cervical lesions.




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