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This article is the author's final published version in Global Spine Journal, Volume 13, Issue 5, June 2023, Pages 1237 - 1242.

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STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to determine how often patients with degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) and initially treated with cervical steroid injections (CSI) and to determine whether these injections provide any benefit in delaying ultimate surgical treatment.

METHODS: All patients with a new diagnosis of DCM, without previous cervical spine surgery or steroid injections, were identified in PearlDiver, a large insurance database. Steroid injection and surgery timing was identified using Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes. Multivariate logistic regression identified associations with surgical treatment.

RESULTS: A total of 686 patients with DCM were identified. Pre-surgical cervical spine steroid injections were utilized in 244 patients (35.6%). All patients underwent eventual surgical treatment. Median time from initial DCM diagnosis to surgery was 75.5 days (mean 351.6 days; standard deviation 544.9 days). Cervical steroid injections were associated with higher odds of surgery within 1 year (compared to patients without injections, OR = 1.44,

CONCLUSIONS: While cervical steroid injections continue to be commonly performed in patients with DCM, there is an overall increased odds of surgery after any type of cervical injection. Therefore injections should not be used to prevent surgical management of DCM.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.