Research News

Feb 20, 2024

  • Medicine

Paresthesia symptoms negatively impact spinal surgery satisfaction

Assessing post-operative symptoms and patient satisfaction rates after spinal cord surgery

Paresthesia - an upper-extremity neurological symptom of degenerative cervical myelopathy

Surgery aims to enhance patients' physical function and quality of life, yet despite treatment, some patients remain discontent due to severe residual paresthesia

Credit: Osaka Metropolitan University

Pins and needles, sudden cold, burning, itching, numbness in the limbs — these are symptoms of paresthesia in cervical spondylotic myelopathy caused by compression of the spinal cord pathway in the cervical spine due to aging or other factors. Motor symptoms such as difficulty walking and urinating develop gradually, requiring surgical treatment.


Surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy aims to improve and/or prevent further deterioration in physical function and quality of life. However, patients are often not satisfied with their treatment for myelopathy when they have severe residual paresthesia, even when physical function and quality of life are improved after surgery.


A team of researchers led by Dr. Koji Tamai of the Department of Orthopedics at the Graduate School of Medicine at Osaka Metropolitan University surveyed 187 patients with paresthesia who underwent spinal surgery to assess postoperative symptoms. They found that 86 patients reported continuing to experience severe residual paresthesia, as indicated by a score of 40 or more out of 100 on a self-scoring scale used as a standard in surgery assessments.


“The study also found that ‘satisfaction with postoperative treatment’ was lower for those who still had paresthesia in their hands and feet, regardless of whether their motor symptoms had improved or not,” Dr. Tamai said. “Furthermore, this study revealed that patients who complain of pain prior to surgery are more likely to have residual paresthesia. We hope future research will focus on developing treatment strategies for residual paresthesia.”  


Their findings were published in Spine.

Paper Information

Journal: Spine

Title: Residual paresthesia after surgery for degenerative cervical myelopathy: incidence and impact on clinical outcomes and satisfaction

DOI: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000004907

Author: Koji Tamai, Hidetomi Terai, Masayoshi Iwamae, Minori Kato, Hiromitsu Toyoda, Akinobu Suzuki, Shinji Takahashi, Yuta Sawada, Yuki Okamura, Yuto Kobayashi, Hiroaki Nakamura

Published: December 21, 2023



Koji Tamai
Graduate School of Medicine
E-mail: koji.tamai.707[at]
*Please change [at] to @.


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