Since 1986, the authors have used anterior decompression and fusion to treat patients with one- or two-level lesions without spinal canal stenosis (Group A) and laminoplasty for patients with more than three-level lesions or spinal canal stenosis (Group P). The aim of this study was to compare surgical outcomes of anterior and posterior approaches for patients with cervical myelopathy because of spondylosis and disc herniation and to determine the cause of poor neurologic recovery after surgery. One hundred thirty-six patients were followed up for an average of 5.6 years. There were no significant differences in gender, preoperative neurologic deficits, axial symptoms, or duration of symptoms before surgery between the two groups. Mean recovery rates for disc herniations were 71.1% and 71.9% in Groups A and P, respectively. For spondylosis, mean recovery rates were 49.0% and 58.6% in Groups A and P, respectively. There were no differences in recovery rate for patients with either spinal disorder between Groups A and P. The neurologic recovery of patients with kyphotic spinal cord was inferior to that of patients with lordotic or straight spinal cord. It is possible that acquisition and maintenance of lordosis result in improvement of clinical outcomes after surgery for patients with myelopathy.