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Cervical Myelopathy

What is Cervical Myelopathy?

Within the cervical spine, there are 7 spinal vertebrae with nerves extending outward and each vertebra is cushioned by spinal discs.  Cervical Myelopathy occurs when the spinal cord itself is compressed by a spinal disc or a piece of bone in the spine.

In most instances, Cervical Myelopathy occurs due to degenerative changes to the spinal discs or joints within the spine including degenerative disc disease as well as arthritis within the spine.  However, Cervical Myelopathy can also be caused by a sudden impact to the neck such as a car accident or injury.

Because Cervical Myelopathy affects the spinal cord and spinal nerves, the symptoms can be varied and complex.  Also, these symptoms may appear over time and become progressively more frequent.

If you have Cervical Myelopathy the symptoms can include:

  • Neck pain
  • Weakness in the arms, hands, and fingers
  • Tingling in the arms, hands or fingers
  • Difficulty grasping objects
  • Loss of balance or motor skills

How is Cervical Myelopathy Treated at OSS Health?

The Spine Team at OSS Health has helped thousands of patients with Cervical Myelopathy return to an active and healthy lifestyle using a variety of treatment options.

To alleviate the symptoms of Cervical Myelopathy the key is to alleviate the pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerves.  In many cases, this can be achieved using non-surgical treatments.

Non-surgical treatments may include:

  • A cervical brace
  • Physical therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) 
  • Corticosteroids
  • Epidural steroid injections

If non-surgical treatments fail to alleviate symptoms, your OSS Health Spine Specialist may recommend a surgical procedure to decompress the spinal cord and spinal nerves.  These minimally invasive procedures can include a Cervical Spinal Fusion or a Cervical Laminectomy.  

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