An analytical study of 59 patients who underwent the posterior operation for cervical spondylosis with myelopathy at the London Hospital between 1945 and 1960 has been made. The postoperative period of observation ranged from five to 20 years with an average of 10 years. Initially 36 patients were improved by the operation, 24 considerably so, and in 15 patients further deterioration was prevented. Five years after operation 33 patients were still improved and in five patients co-existent disease had become apparent. Ten years after operation 30 patients had maintained their initial improvement; progression of the disease accounted for a drop of 10% in the success rate initially achieved. No patient in this series developed postoperative instability of the cervical spine. Patients with less than two years' duration of symptoms and with less neurological disability fared better. The importance of a long follow-up period for the proper assessment of results is thus emphasized. It is suggested that the posterior operation has stood the test of time and will continue to maintain a useful place in the treatment of this condition. Some points are outlined for the successful practice of this operation.
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