Increasing awareness of degenerative cervical myelopathy: a preventative cause of non-traumatic spinal cord injury.
Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) is a common non-traumatic spinal cord disorder and characterized by progressive neurological impairment. Generally, it is still underdiagnosed and referral to spine specialists is often late, when patients already present with incomplete cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). To improve early diagnosis and accelerate referral, diagnostic criteria for DCM are required. Recently, AO Spine RECODE- DCM (REsearch Objectives and Common Data Elements for Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy) (aospine.org/recode), an international, interdisciplinary and interprofessional initiative, including patients with DCM, was funded with the aim to accelerate knowledge discovery that can change outcomes. In this perspective we advocate for the participation of SCI specialists in this process, where the expertise and perspective on this disorder and requirements for the diagnostic and therapeutic work up is well developed.