Myelopathy

Any disturbance in the normal functioning of the spinal cord is called as myelopathy. The spinal cord gets damaged owing to some injury, pressure effect or some changes within the substance of the spinal cord. It is a serious medical condition as it can lead to partial or complete paralysis, if left untreated. For a person to perform normal functions of daily life by using all four limbs, The Spinal cord should function properly without any interference in its normal current flow. When there is a large slip disc or any new structure or tissue growth within the spinal tunnel, it can compress the spinal cord and interfere in its normal current flow, thus stopping the function of limbs as well as disturbing the bowel and bladder functions. This condition should not be left untreated as it can lead to paralysis and death too.

When it occurs due to trauma, it is called spinal cord injury. It is called myelitis when inflammation of the spinal cord occurs. Cervical myelopathy and thoracic myelopathy are the common types of myelopathy.

Myelopathy is a serious disorder of the spine and should not be taken lightly. as compared to other spinal problems, it has a worse outcome if left untreated. Many other spinal conditions respond reasonably well to non-operative treatment of spine, but the myelopathy is such a condition that usually needs and responds very well to surgical treatment, provided undertaken timely and at a well equipped centre. Medical treatment with antibiotics is given when myelopathy is caused by infection besides cleaning the infection with surgery. Depending on the pathology, various surgeries are done by the surgeon for treating myelopathy arising out of spinal compression. All the surgeries performed alleviate the pressure built on the spinal cord. The treatment for myelopathy largely depends on the cause and its type.

The surgeries available for myelopathy are:

1: Anterior cervical Discectomy and Fusion (Anterior means from the front of neck)
2: Anterioir Cervical Discectomy and Disc Replacement
3: Anterior Cervical Corpectomy
4: Anterior Cervical Corpectomy and Fusion
5: Posterior Laminoplasty (Posterior means from the back side of neck)
6: Posterior Laminectomy
7: Posterior Laminectomy and instrumented fusion
8: Combined Anterior and Posterior Surgeries

  • Imbalance while walking
  • Apprehension to fall while getting up and walking
  • Problem in  coordinated movement of hands
  • Balance and gait is disturbed
  • Pain in arms and legs
  • Weakness in the body
  • Difficulty while walking
  • Tingling sensation in arms and legs
  • Bowel and bladder problems
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