Myelopathy isn’t a single condition, but rather refers to a variety of different problems that can injure an individual’s spinal cord. Trauma, infection, inflammation, or something pressing on the spinal cord, such as a vertebral disc, a blood vessel, vertebral bone, or some type of growth, can all cause myelopathy. In general, it’s a serious condition that requires expert medical care to treat.
Common Causes of Myelopathy
There are many causes of myelopathy, and it often occurs in adults over 55yearsold. The most common cause is cervical spondylotic myelopathy, which is when vertebral discs, vertebral bones, and ligaments begin to degenerate and put pressure on the upper spinal cord near the neck. It’s a painful condition, and individuals who suffer from it often experience loss of coordination in the hands, muscle weakness, loss of balance, absent or abnormal sensations, or even muscle atrophy. Stiffness, neck pain, hand cramps, and handwriting changes are also symptoms of myelopathy.
Because myelopathy occurs in older individuals, it often goes misdiagnosed as just part of the natural aging process. However, Central NJ Spine wants you to know that while some kinds of weakness and discomfort arenormal, reoccurring pain, along with the inability to maintain coordination or balance,should always be discussed with a doctor.
While cervical spondylotic myelopathy is the most common cause of myelopathy, there are others that warrant mention, including multiple sclerosis, neoplasm, and motor neuron disease. Additionally, it can also be caused by spinal stenosis, a condition that occurs when the spinal canal narrows, effectively damaging the spinal cord.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you ever experience symptoms of myelopathy, know that treatment requires the help of a spinal specialist, like the experienced team of doctors at Central NJ Spine. Our doctors are experienced in diagnosing and treating myelopathy, and we understand that no two patients are the same. When you visit our office for treatment, you’ll be treated like an individual and will discuss your medical history and treatment options with our doctors to ensure you get the best care for your condition. As far as treatment options go, we always opt for conservative options first, but if an MRI reveals extensive damage, surgery might be suggested.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of myelopathy, schedule a consultation with one of our doctors today. Call our office at 201-371-6004.