Cervical spinal stenosis is a medical condition in which the protective spinal canal of the neck narrows. The narrowing can be due to a genetic defect, an injury, or degenerative changes. A condition known as myelopathy occurs in case the spinal canal narrows too much resulting in spinal cord compression.
What exactly is cervical stenosis with myelopathy? What are the causes? What are the symptoms? You will know the answers to these questions here in this article.
Cervical stenosis with myelopathy is also known as cervical spondylotic myelopathy or cervical spondylosis with myelopathy. Stenosis involves narrowing of the spinal canal while spondylosis is characterized by degeneration of the spine. Stenosis generally occurs due to spondylosis. The result is weakness, pain, and loss of coordination of one or more body parts or functions.
The spine of everyone degenerates with age. The intervertebral discs that provide cushioning between the bones of the vertebra loses hydration over time. It becomes flat, because of which the spinal discs may bulge into the spinal canal.
In addition, the facet joint located at the back of the spine also degenerates over time. It can become enlarged due to changes from arthritis. The result in both cases is narrowing of the spinal canal, which is known as spinal stenosis. When the neck’s spinal canal narrows too much resulting, it results in a condition known as cervical stenosis, spondylotic myelopathy, or cervical spondylosis with myelopathy.
Cervical stenosis with myelopathy has a slow prognosis. The condition tends to get worse over a period of time. However, there are a few variations in that the symptoms in some cases remains stable while in other cases there is rapid worsening of the conation.
Majority of the cases of cervical stenosis myelopathy requires surgery. This is needed to get relief from acute pain due to pressure on the spinal cord. In some cases, the symptoms of myelopathy are mild due to which surgical treatments are not required. However, in most cases of myelopathy, the doctor recommends surgery to treat the condition.
People with cervical stenosis with myelopathy may not realize the slow onset of the condition. A minor pain when changing dress or writing may get unitized. However, overtime the symptoms will become more noticeable and may include any one of the following.
The above symptoms indicate the presence of cervical stenosis with myelopathy. It’s recommended to seek treatment early to avoid serious damage to the spinal nerves.
A spinal specialist will diagnose the problem through checking the symptoms, carrying out a physical examination, and a deep physical examination. In case professional medical help is not sought, the spinal cord may become more compressed. This can lead to serious conditions such as paralysis or loss of one or more bodily functions.