Cervical myelopathy (spinal cord compression)

Neck | Neurology | Cervical myelopathy (spinal cord compression) (Disease)


Cervical myelopathy is a disorder most commonly seen in the elderly population due to spondylosis with resultant cord compression. Cervical myelopathy occurs when there is pressure on the spinal cord, and this results in dysfunction of the nerves below the area of pressure.

The most common symptom of cervical myelopathy is neck pain accompanied by radiating pain into one or both of your arms. Numbness and tingling in fingers and difficulty to hold objects are also present. Also, pain cam make walking problematic and increases the risk of falls.

Causes and Risk factors

Causes of myelopathy include trauma, tumors, infection, vascular disease, degenerative conditions and demyelinating disorders. Patients may have a predisposition if they are born with a narrow canal or have a deformity secondary to previous neck injury. Myelopathy can be seen in younger patients when central disc herniations compress the spinal cord.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis includes investigation as x-ray of the cervical spine, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The treatment for the cervical myelopathy is surgical decompression (surgically relieving the pressure on the spinal cord). The aim of decompressive surgery is to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord and prevent further neurological damage to the spinal cord, unfortunately the nerves that are already damaged may not recover. ...

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