Stenosis of the cervical spine

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Cervical spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck. The spinal canal is within the area bounded by the vertebrae in the spinal cord found. The spinal cord consists of nerves that pass through the spinal canal from the brain to the lower back area. These nerves are responsible for the sensitivity and mobility territories they innervate. In cervical spinal stenosis, spinal canal narrows and can compress the nerve roots leave the spinal cord in place or even irritate spinal cord. The first seven vertebrae of the spine, which extend from the skull to the chest upper cervical spine segment form or cervical spine. Nerve and spinal cord compression in the cervical spinal canal may cause functional disturbances in the spinal cord, stiffness, pain and numbness (paresthesia) in the neck, arms and legs.

Many people aged over 50 years is narrowing the spinal canal but, however, no symptoms. Cervical spinal stenosis does not cause symptoms until the spinal cord or nerves are compressed. Symptoms appear gradually over a long period of time and include: Stiffness, pain or numbness in the neck, shoulders, arms, hands or legs; Balance disorders; Preventing legs while walking.

Causes and Risk factors

Cervical spinal stenosis can be crippling if the cervical spinal is injured. Stenosis is often produced changes in the shape of the spinal canal and usually occurs in people over 50 years. Due to age, thickening of the tissue occurs that connect bones (ligaments), destruction of bones wrapped tissues (cartilage) and excessive increases in bone joints of the extremities. All these changes can lead to narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis).

Diagnosis and Treatment

Cervical spinal stenosis diagnosis based on symptoms reported by the patient and his physical examination. Be sure to tell your doctor if neck movements cause pain, numbness or weakness. If cervical spinal stenosis is suspected, the doctor will use laboratory investigations to confirm diagnosis and to detect the disease. Most useful laboratory investigations are radiography, magnetic resonance and computer tomography.

Cervical myelopathy is a serious problem. The pressure on the spinal cord usually will not go away without surgery and the symptoms will most likely continue to get worse. If you do not improve rapidly with non-operative care, your doctor may suggest surgery to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord.

There are several surgical procedures used to treat cervical spinal stenosis that is causing cervical myelopathy. Both types of operations have the same goal - to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord by making the spinal canal larger. In some cases, the surgeon may suggest an operation called a laminectomy. In this operation, the back side of the vertebrae is opened to allow more room for the spinal cord.

In other cases, the surgeon may suggest an op...