Naming DCM

Today, many different terms are used to describe this condition. Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy (DCM) has recently been introduced as an umbrella term for several degenerative diseases of the spine that result in cervical myelopathy. However, there are no specific and recognized disease codes, such as the International Classification of Disease (ICD) or literature database codes like the Medical Subject Heading (MeSH).

The lack of recognized codes makes it extremely difficult to find or interpret clinical studies, but it also makes it very difficult to raise awareness, the number 1 research priority.

Key search terms are not unique: a range of other conditions can cause myelopathy, and degenerative pathology of the spine can occur in the absence of DCM. Therefore, AO Spine RECODE-DCM seeks to achieve consensus between key stakeholder groups on the ‘Index Term’ for DCM and produce a clear definition that enables the creation of disease codes.