Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 158, Issue 5, pp 969–974 | Cite as

The use of surgery for cervical degenerative disease in Norway in the period 2008–2014

A population-based study of 6511 procedures
  • Jon-André KristiansenEmail author
  • Lise Balteskard
  • Haldor Slettebø
  • Øystein P. Nygaard
  • Bjarne Lied
  • Frode Kolstad
  • Tore K. Solberg
Clinical Article - Spine



The incidence rate of surgical treatment of cervical degenerative diseases (CDD) has increased in the USA and a large geographic variation has been shown. Little is known about such rates in Scandinavia and Europe. The aim of this population-based study was to (1) investigate annual incidence rates of operations performed in Norway, (2) to compare trends and variations in rates for surgical indications with and without myelopathy, and (3) to compare variations in the use of surgery between residential areas.


Patients operated for CDD and recorded in the Norwegian Patient Registry from 2008 to 2014 were evaluated according to residential areas (resident county and Regional Health Authority (RHA) area), age, gender, treating hospital, and whether myelopathy was present or not. Surgical rates were adjusted for age and gender. Data from private health care were also included.


The annual surgical rates increased by 74.1 % from 2008 to 2014 (12.5/100,000 inhabitants). The largest increase was for surgical treatment of radiculopathy, 86.5 %. Surgical rates for CDD varied in 2014 with a ratio of 1.5 between the highest and lowest RHA and with a ratio of 2.5 between the different residential counties within one RHA. The treatment rates for myelopathy were relatively stable over time, but showed an increase of 2.1/100,000 (44.6 %) from 2013 to 2014.


Our study shows that the rate of surgical treatment for radiculopathy due to CDD has increased substantially from 2008 to 2014 for all RHAs in Norway. The incidence rate for surgical treatment of myelopathy was more stable. An unexplained and moderate geographic variation was found.


Cervical degenerative disease Geographic variation Radiculopathy Myelopathy Surgery rates 


Compliance with ethical standards

For this type of study formal consent is not required.


No funding was received for this research.

Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers' bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jon-André Kristiansen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lise Balteskard
    • 2
  • Haldor Slettebø
    • 3
  • Øystein P. Nygaard
    • 4
  • Bjarne Lied
    • 5
  • Frode Kolstad
    • 3
  • Tore K. Solberg
    • 6
  1. 1.Diakonhjemmet HospitalOsloNorway
  2. 2.Center of Clinical Documentation and Evaluation, Northern Norway Regional Health AuthorityTromsøNorway
  3. 3.Department of NeurosurgeryOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  4. 4.Department of NeurosurgerySt. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim University HospitalTrondheimNorway
  5. 5.Department of NeurosurgeryOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  6. 6.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity Hospital of North NorwayTromsøNorway

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