The association of cervical spondylosis and multiple sclerosis

Robert Burgerman, Daniele Rigamonti, J. Michael Randle, Paul Fishman, Hillel S. Panitch, Kenneth P. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The diagnostic and therapeutic considerations produced by the coexistence of cervical spondylosis and multiple sclerosis are complex. We have encountered six patients, affected by both multiple sclerosis and cervical spondylosis, in whom neurosurgical procedures were performed. The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis was confirmed by a combination of clinical, neuroimmunologic, electrophysiologic, and neuroradiologic findings. The diagnosis of spondylosis with spinal cord compromise was confirmed by myelography and computed tomographic scan in all cases, and by magnetic resonance imaging in four. Surgery was followed by lasting clinical improvement in two patients, transient improvement in one, and no change in the other three. Our experience confirms that multiple sclerosis and cervical spondylosis can coexist and suggests that this coexistence may result in an interaction that compounds the deleterious effect on the nervous system. Diagnostic evaluations of patients, particularly young patients, with symptoms of cervical spondylosis should include consideration of the possible coexistence of multiple sclerosis. The evaluation of a patient with known multiple sclerosis who develops new signs of cervical spinal cord dysfunction should always include spinal neuroimaging studies. When progression of symptoms coincides with documented progression of anatomic compression, surgical intervention can yield good results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-270
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical spondylosis, Multiple sclerosis
  • Demyelination
  • MRI
  • Spinal cord
  • Trauma
  • coexistence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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