Background: Few studies have investigated associations between hand grip strength (HGS) and the surgical outcomes of degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM). Methods: This study was designed as a prospective observational study of 203 patients who had undergone fusion surgery for DCM. We divided the patients according to sex and HGS differences. Clinical outcome parameters, including HGS, a fall diary and four functional mobility tests (alternative step test, six-meter walk test, timed up and go test, and sit-to-stand test) were measured preoperatively, at 3 months and 1 year after surgery. Results: Mean patient ages were 59.93 years in the male group and 67.33 years in the female group (p = 0.000; independent t-test). The mean HGS of both hands improved significantly at postoperative 3 months and 1 year in all patients (p = 0.000 for both; ANOVA). In male patients, preoperative risk of falls was negatively correlated with HGS (p = 0.000). In female patients, pre-and postoperative risk of falls were correlated negatively with HGS (p = 0.000). The postoperative incidence of falls decreased in both groups (p = 0.000) Conclusions: Postoperative HGS in patients with DCM is correlated with postoperative falls and functional outcome differently, when comparing male and female patients, for predicting favorable outcomes and neurologic deficit recovery after surgery in DCM patients.
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