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What is myelopathy?

Myelopathy refers to an injury to the spinal cord caused by severe compression, which can result from various factors such as trauma, congenital stenosis, degenerative disease, or disc herniation. The spine houses a collection of nerves that extend nearly its entire length. Myelopathy occurs when any section of the spinal cord becomes compressed or constricted.

Myelopathy may manifest in different areas of the spine, leading to distinct categories based on its specific location.

Types of Myelopathy:

  • Lumbar Myelopathy Lumbar myelopathy is a relatively uncommon condition since the spinal cord typically terminates in the upper section of the lumbar spine for most individuals.
  • Cervical Myelopathy Cervical myelopathy primarily affects the neck and represents the most prevalent form of myelopathy.
  • Thoracic Myelopathy Thoracic myelopathy occurs in the middle region of the spine. In this area, the spinal cord often faces compression due to bulging or herniated discs, bone spurs, or spinal trauma.

For specialized care and treatment of myelopathy, NeuroSpine Plus is at your service. Our team of highly skilled neurosurgeons is dedicated to providing exceptional medical care with a focus on patient well-being and optimal outcomes. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.


What are the symptoms of myelopathy?

When the spinal cord is compressed or injured, it may lead to pain or discomfort in the affected region or below the compression point. Some common symptoms associated with myelopathy include:

  • Sensations of tingling, numbness, or weakness
  • Neck, arm, leg, or lower back pain
  • Challenges with fine motor skills
  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of control over urinary or bowel functions
  • Heightened reflexes or development of abnormal reflexes in the extremities
  • Impairment of balance and coordination

At NeuroSpine Plus, our team of experts focuses on addressing myelopathy symptoms and providing specialized treatment options tailored to each patient's unique needs.

What are the causes of myelopathy?

Myelopathy typically progresses gradually as you age due to the degeneration of the spine (spondylosis). Various factors like inflammation, arthritic illness, bone spurs, and the flattening of spinal discs between the vertebrae can exert pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots.

Several conditions can contribute to myelopathy, including:

  • Degenerative spinal conditions like spinal stenosis, which narrows the bony passages that accommodate the spinal cord and nerve roots.

  • Compressed spinal cord resulting from central disc herniations can also lead to myelopathy.

  • Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis in the spine, may cause degenerative changes in the vertebrae, leading to spinal cord compression and myelopathy.

  • Hernias, cysts, hematomas, and spinal tumors, including bone cancer, can exert pressure on the spinal cord, thereby leading to myelopathy.

What are the treatments for myelopathy?

Treatment for myelopathy varies based on the causes and underlying conditions, and NeuroSpine Plus incorporates personalized treatment plans to alleviate symptoms and slow down progression. These plans may encompass non-surgical methods, surgical interventions, or a combination of both. Non-surgical treatments offered at NeuroSpine Plus include:

  • Physical therapy

  • Exercise

  • Bracing

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

  • Nerve blocks (spinal injections

  • Epidural injections in the lumbar and cervical spine

Our expert neurosurgeons at NeuroSpine Plus determine whether surgical treatment is necessary to address any abnormalities and relieve pressure on the spinal cord. Surgical treatment options include:

Myelopathy FAQ

Myelopathy may occur due to natural deterioration associated with aging. However, at NeuroSpine Plus, we recommend adopting measures to strengthen and care for your back, here are some tips to prevent myelopathy:

  • Safely lift heavy objects
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Focus on strengthening the core muscles located in your back and abdomen

Myelopathy, a condition caused by spinal cord compression, can impact the entire spinal cord’s functionality. On the other hand, radiculopathy is a result of nerve root compression, occurring when specific nerves along the spine become pinched.

To identify and narrow down the diagnosis of myelopathy, we may recommend various tests. These tests, offered at NeuroSpine Plus, include:

  • X-ray
  • MRI scan
  • Myelography
  • Electrical tests

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