Title: Natural history of degenerative disorders of the spine.
Background: Not all patients with degenerative disorders of the spine need surgery to recover. The objective was to examine the outcomme of these patients and find the natural history of the degenerative disorders of the spine. I concentrated on cervical and lumbar disorders.
Methods: Searches in the database PubMed was conducted using the terms spondylosis, intervertebral disk displacement, spinal osteophytosis and spinal stenosis combined with naural course and natural history.
Results: The litterature concluded that in many cases cervical herniations do regress spontaniously. Cervical spinal stenosis is a static neurological compromise, with prologend periods of minimal changes in disability. However complete recovery is very rare, and the expected course is episodic worsening. For the lumbar disorders we can conclude that the natural history of lumbar herniations is bening, and the majority regress spontaniously. As for the cervical herniations, the larger and the sequestered herniations show a higher tendency to regress. The natural history of lumbar spinal stenosis is more poorly studied, but it seems that many patients do not progress for long periods of time, other experience improvement and yet others experience worsening. There seem to be a negative connection between high grade stenosis and a worse course.