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Spontaneous Regression of Soft Disc Herniation in Patients With Cervical Myelopathy

Matsumoto, Morio MD; Okada, Eijiro MD; Watanabe, Kota MD; Hosogane, Naobumi MD; Tsuji, Takashi MD; Ishii, Ken MD; Nakamura, Masaya MD; Chiba, Kazuhiro MD; Toyama, Yoshiaki MD

doi: 10.1097/WNQ.0b013e3182277a40
Original Articles

Purpose: To describe patients with cervical myelopathy due to cervical disc herniation (CDH) who showed spontaneous regression, we conducted a retrospective study.

Methods: A review of clinical records since 1990 identified 19 patients (12 male and 7 female; mean age, 42.4 y) with mild cervical myelopathy due to CDH who exhibited spontaneous CDH regression after conservative treatment.

Results: The mean Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores were 13.7±1.4 before conservative treatment, 14.8±1.2 at 3 months, and 15.9±0.7 at final follow-up. On magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the CDH regression was observed at 7.5 months on average. Intramedullary high-signal intensity was observed in 15 patients (78.9%) before treatment and 9 patients (47.4%) at follow-up. The mean area of the spinal cord was 58.4±8.3 mm2 before treatment and 62.4±9.7 mm2 at follow-up.

Conclusions: Spontaneous regression of the CDH in 19 patients with mild cervical myelopathy was observed, with improvements in neurological status and in intramedullary high-signal intensity on MRI.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Keio University, Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Morio Matsumoto, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Keio University, Shinanomachi 35, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan (e-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.