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September 24, 1960

Degenerative Disk Disease of Cervical Spine: Clinical and Roentgenographic Study

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Radiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

JAMA. 1960;174(4):375-380. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030040029008

Degeneration of the cervical disk was seen most often between the fifth and sixth and between the sixth and seventh cervical vertebrae. Most clinical findings also were related to these levels, with involvement of the sixth and seventh cervical roots. Current methods of therapy in the treatment of cervical pain radiating into the upper extremity due to degenerative disk disease infrequently resulted in lasting relief. Symptoms were relieved after nonoperative and operative measures, but recurrence was common. Fortunately, paresis and sensory deficits were not progressive and rarely disabling. X-rays proved to be of limited value in diagnosis and prognosis.