This two part series reviews the recent literature concerning the etiology and clinical presentation of cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM). CSM is the most common neurological spinal cord disorder after middle age. It is caused by the compromise of the cervical spinal cord from narrowing of the spinal canal.
In Part I, a review of the anatomy and the pathomechanics of the cervical spine pertinent to CSM is discussed. Emphasis is placed upon the intricate relationship between the osseous, neurological and vascular structures. The consequences of degenerative changes upon this relationship is evidenced by the resulting neurovascular compression. In turn, compression may lead to spinal cord ischemia with characteristic clinical results.
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