The spinal cord can be severely compressed due to a traumatic injury, an infection, or another condition.
Myelopathy is a collection of symptoms caused by severe spinal compression. The spinal cord cannot function when compressed (squeezed). As a result, certain body parts may be in pain, lose feeling, or be difficult to move.
Myelopathy can be classified into three types, and the affected area of the spine is named for each. They are as follows,
Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy: When you have cervical compression (neck pain), you can develop cervical myelopathy.
Thoracic Myelopathy: It is known as thoracic myelopathy when myelopathy develops in the middle portion of the spine. In the mid and upper back, you have the thoracic spine.
Lumbar Myelopathy: Lumbar spine refers to the low back. Myelopathy that affects this area is called lumbar myelopathy.
Any spinal cord compression can cause acute myelopathy from a sudden injury or infection. Most commonly, myelopathy develops over time due to wear and tear or degenerative spinal conditions. In most cases, myelopathy is caused by spondylosis, which causes slow spinal degeneration.
Myelopathy can also be caused by,
Spinal Stenosis: The spinal column can become narrower due to arthritis in the spine. Spinal stenosis refers to this narrowing.
Ruptured or herniated disk: There are times when a disk cushions the spine herniate (bulges out between vertebrae). It sometimes ruptures (leaking fluid, flattening the disk). A herniated disk can put pressure on the spinal cord.
Spinal Tumor: Cancerous or non-cancerous spinal tumours can press on the spinal cord.
Neurodegenerative diseases: Nerve functions in the spinal cord can be affected by conditions like Parkinson's disease or ALS.
Nerves control many of the functions and movements of the body, and spinal cord compression can affect them. A spinal cord's different areas control different functions. Each part of the spinal cord can cause other symptoms of myelopathy.
Some of the symptoms are,
Feeling pain in your neck or back.
Arms, hands, legs, or feet tingle, numb, or feel weak.
The inability to button a shirt or grasp small objects due to difficulties with fine motor skills.
Coordination or balance issues.
A change in your extremity's reflexes.
Inability to control bladder or bowel movements.
Your healthcare provider will order tests and perform a thorough physical exam to diagnose myelopathy correctly. The following tests may be performed:
Imaging tests, such as spine X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans.
In a myelogram, contrast dye is used along with X-rays or CT scans to visualise the relationship between your spine's bones and soft tissues.
Nerve function tests, such as electromyograms or evoked potentials, assess how your brain and body communicate.
Depending on causes, myelopathy treatment in Hebbal, Bangalore also will vary. Your healthcare provider will first treat an infection or tumour if either causes myelopathy.
It is possible to relieve symptoms without surgery. In most cases, however, spinal cord compression requires surgery to relieve the pressure.
Non-surgical Procedures: Your provider may recommend nonsurgical treatment if your symptoms are minor or you are awaiting surgery. Symptoms such as pain and stiffness, and braces, physical therapy, or corticosteroids may treat the condition.
Surgical Procedure: Spinal decompression surgery relieves pressure on the spinal cord caused by herniated disks, cysts, bone spurs, or tumours. In decompression surgery, a laminectomy is performed. The surgeon removes small bones (also called the lamina) from the spine during this procedure. The bones are drawn to increase the area around the spinal cord.
Consult with a team of experts at Manipal Hospitals now.