What Is Cervical Myelopathy?
Cervical myelopathy is a nervous system disorder that affects the spinal cord. As a form of myelopathy, this condition involves the compression of the spinal cord in the cervical spine. Most commonly affecting people aged 50 or older, cervical myelopathy can cause pain in the neck, loss of balance, and dysfunction of motor skills.
MRI scans are the most common way to diagnose cervical myelopathy, and this condition can best be treated with spin decompression surgery. At Texas Neurosurgery, our highly skilled surgeons are dedicated to providing treatment for patients suffering from symptoms of cervical myelopathy. To find out more, read our FAQ below.
What Causes Cervical Myelopathy?
Cervical myelopathy usually occurs due to the wear and tear of the spine as we age. This is why this condition is most common in people over 50 years of age. However, cervical myelopathy may also be a result of health conditions that affect the spine, such as cervical spondylosis, also known as osteoarthritis of the spine.
What Are the Symptoms of Cervical Myelopathy?
Patients who experience cervical myelopathy may suffer from symptoms such as:
- Pain in the neck
- Problems with motor skills
- Stiffness in the neck
- Numbness in the neck
- Trouble walking or unsteadiness
- Loss of balance
- Weakness in the arms and hands
- Difficulty handling small objects
- Poor coordination
- Issues with bowel control
- Urinary incontinence
How Is Cervical Myelopathy Treated?
The most effective way to treat cervical myelopathy is to undergo spine decompression surgery to take pressure and compression off the spine. Depending on the patient and the complexity or severity of their cervical myelopathy, the procedure can take anywhere between one to three hours on average.
During spine decompression surgery, your surgeon will make an incision at the affected area of the spine to access the compressed nerve. This nerve will then be pulled back to reveal the bone or ligament, causing pressure on the spine. These will be removed during surgery, which should relieve compression from that area. Spine decompression surgery is typically performed while the patient is under a general anesthetic, so no pain or discomfort should be felt during the procedure.
How Do You Recover From Spine Decompression Surgery?
The recovery experience from spin decompression surgery will differ from patient to patient, depending on your healing progress. However, on average, it can take four to six weeks of rest and recovery before you are able to return back to your normal level of mobility and function.
During recovery, light walking and exercise will be encouraged, but intense workouts and heavy lifting should be avoided. Patients should commit to their follow-up appointments and follow aftercare guidelines to avoid complications while in recovery.
Recovery after spine decompression surgery will be a commitment but not an impossible one. With the right care, many patients achieve a successful recovery that allows them to experience relief from chronic pain and stiffness. Over time, patients will notice continued improvement in their motor skills and overall function, gaining back control over their bodies.
Schedule a Consultation for Cervical Myelopathy Treatment
To find out more about spine decompression surgery and cervical myelopathy treatment, click here to schedule your consultation with our highly experienced providers at Texas Neurosurgery in Dallas, TX, or call 214-823-2052.