Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is a complex, multifaceted disorder that is characterized by progressive compression of the spinal cord due to extradural spinal degenerative pathology. Many aspects of the pathophysiologic mechanisms, diagnosis, progression, and treatment of CSM are not well characterized. Given this critical knowledge gap, the AOSpine North America Clinical Research Network put together an expert, multidisciplinary panel to critically evaluate the literature (using systematic and narrative reviews), undertake preliminary analyses related to the impact of spinal deformity on CSM, and to complete an international survey of clinical perspectives on the management of mild CSM. This article discusses, in detail, the unique methodology employed to achieve the goals of this Focus issue devoted to CSM.
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