Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 159, Issue 12, pp 2379–2384 | Cite as

Patients’ beliefs about diagnosis and treatment of cervical spondylosis with radiculopathy

  • Clemens Weber
  • Maziar Behbahani
  • Roald Baardsen
  • Jens Lehmberg
  • Bernhard Meyer
  • Ehab Shiban
Original Article - Spine

Abstract

Background

The clinical results of surgical spine care may be influenced by the patients’ understanding and knowledge of his or her condition, treatment options and decision-making process. The aim of this survey study was to evaluate certain beliefs and opinions of patients with a degenerative condition in the cervical spine with a history of cervical radiculopathy such as importance of magnetic resonance imaging, risk factors, treatment alternatives and effectiveness.

Methods

An anonymous questionnaire survey was performed on two different patient populations with a degenerative condition in the cervical spine with a history of cervical radiculopathy referred to the outpatients’ clinics of two neurosurgical departments in Germany and Norway. The survey consisted of seven questions: four questions about the respondents’ gender and age, history of previous spine surgery and/or conservative treatment for cervical disorder and three questions regarding the importance of imaging in the decision-making process, patients’ willingness to undergo cervical surgery based on imaging findings even with few or no symptoms and the effectiveness of surgical or conservative treatment.

Results

Two hundred eleven patients answered the questionnaire. Sixty-seven percent of all patients with a degenerative cervical condition believe that results from MRI studies are more important than clinical findings. Forty-seven percent were willing to undergo surgery based on MRI showing abnormalities even without or having few symptoms. Fifty percent believe that surgery is more effective in the treatment of axial neck pain.

Conclusion

Misbeliefs and misconceptions exist concerning certain aspects of the diagnosis and management in patients with degenerative conditions in the cervical spine with a history of cervical radiculopathy in a large proportion of patients referred to neurosurgical outpatient clinics.

Keywords

Cervical spine Magnetic resonance imaging Spine surgery 

Supplementary material

701_2017_3356_MOESM1_ESM.docx (118 kb)
ESM 1(DOCX 118 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryStavanger University HospitalStavangerNorway
  2. 2.Department of Neurosurgery, Klinikum Rechts der IsarTechnical University of MunichMunichGermany

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