The word “cervical” in Cervical Myelopathy refers to the first seven vertebrae of your spinal column. Myelopathy occurs when something harmful is pressing against the spinal cord.
- Symptoms of Cervical Myelopathy
- Painful, stiff neck
- Arm pain
- Numbness in the arms, hands, or fingers
- Weakness in arms or legs
- Frequently dropping things
- Clumsy when walking
Left untreated, severe cervical myelopathy may lead to permanent nerve or spinal cord damage.
Causes of Cervical Myelopathy
The most common causes of cervical myelopathy are congenital stenosis and degenerative stenosis caused by spondylosis (degenerative osteoarthritis). When it is caused by spondylosis, it is commonly referred to as cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM). Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common condition affecting around 1% of the population. Around 90% of patients with RA have cervical spine involvement with between 11% and 58% of these patients having neurological involvement. Many of these patients have cervical myelopathy.
Northshore surgeons, Dr. K. Samer Shamieh and Dr. Jeremy James, are conservative, minimally invasive spine surgeons. At DISC of Louisiana we will work with you to treat a vertebral compression fracture non-surgically first. The symptoms of cervical myelopathy may be treated with non-surgical methods such as physical therapy, pain medications, or the use of a soft neck collar. When conservative treatments fail, surgery is recommended.
Potential Minimally Invasive Procedures
Learn More about our Minimally Invasive Techniques
DISC of Louisiana offers spinal procedures using minimally invasive techniques. It means smaller incisions, sometimes less than an inch, that is often covered with a band-aid. The minimally invasive spine surgeon inserts special surgical instruments through the tiny incisions to access the damaged disc. Unlike traditional “open” spine surgery, entry and repair to the damaged disc or vertebrae is achieved without harming nearby muscles and tissues. Less muscle and tissue damage results in less pain and a faster recovery. Click here to learn more.
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