Analysis of time-space variations during dynamic cervical spine motion in cervical spondylosis myelopathy patients



      Decreased cervical range of motion (ROM) is a common symptom of myelopathy patients. Many previous studies have relied on a variety of experimental approaches for quantifying static cervical range of motion. However, the change rules of time-space variation during dynamic cervical spine motion remains unknown.


      To develop and validate the effectiveness of a novel wearable robot-based sensor system, Analysis of Dynamic Cervical spine Motion (ADCM), in evaluating the dynamic cervical spine motion dysfunction of patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM).


      A cross-sectional study.


      One hundred forty consecutive healthy individuals (70 men and 70 women) and 120 CSM patients (60 men and 60 women) were enrolled in the present study.


      The cervical motion process parameters, including the flexion and extension ROM, the flexion and extension time, and the Japanese Orthopedic Association scores (JOA) for cervical spine were measured.


      Two hundred and sixty consecutive participants were asked to wear ADCM system and then fully flex and extend their neck rapidly and evenly at tolerable maximum speed. The cervical motion process was recorded and converted into waveforms. Relevant waveform parameters were measured and analyzed. The number of complete flexion-extension motions in 10 seconds has been defined as 10s F–E cycles. The Japanese Orthopedics Association (JOA) scores of CSM patients were marked.


      CSM patients had a lower number of 10s F–E cycles than healthy subjects. There were significant differences in flexion and extension time and ROM between two groups. The waveforms of myelopathy patients were wider and lower than those in healthy individuals. The average ratio value (defined as F) of wave height to wave width (a+b/c+d) could quantitatively reflect such differences of waveforms. The average F value was correlated with the JOA scores of the cervical motion function (r=0.7538), and F value declined as JOA scores decreased. According to receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, the optimal threshold value of the normal average ratio was more than 34.7.


      ADCM appears to be an objective and quantitative severity assessment tool for confirmed CSM patients by evaluating dynamic cervical spine motion dysfunction.


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