Spondylotic degeneration in the cervical spine may result in static and/or dynamic spinal cord compression that can lead to the associated signs and symptoms of myelopathy. Clinical examination combined with appropriate imaging studies help to confirm the diagnosis. Classic natural history and basic science studies suggest a pernicious course of demyelination and neurologic decline in a large subset of patients. The characterization of disease severity and progression in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy has improved in recent years with imaging and data from prospective and multicenter studies. Additionally, advances in surgical techniques, implants, and imaging modalities have improved the identification of surgical candidates with cervical spondylotic myelopathy and associated treatment strategies. Surgical treatment, via an anterior, posterior, or a combined approach, is primarily intended to arrest neurologic progression, although it can improve function in many patients. Alignment and the characteristics and location of spinal cord compression help determine the ideal surgical approach. Distinct complications associated with each technique may be mitigated by appropriate patient selection and should be discussed preoperatively to ensure informed decision making.