Cervical Myelopathy

What is Cervical Myelopathy

What is Cervical Myelopathy

Cervical Myelopathy is caused by deterioration in the spine in the neck leading to compression of the spinal cord and symptoms such as “numb” and “clumsy” hands, loss of coordination, imbalance, bladder and bowel problems, and weakness that can progress to severe paralysis. Symptoms are often mistaken for signs of old age.

There are many different symptoms of Cervical Myelopathy

Pain, particularly in the neck but perhaps shooting down an arm, is a common symptom. Stiffness

Numbness, especially affecting the hands

"Pins and needles" in the hands

Incoordination

Imbalance and difficulties walking

Weakness

Paralysis

Loss of bladder and bowel control

In CSM, neurological symptoms are often combined with symptoms resulting from the underlying wear and tear arthritis of the neck.

Arthritic symptoms include neck stiffness and pain. At early stages, CSM most commonly affects the hands, causing numbness and clumsiness, and presents with imbalance, which can affect walking.

Furthermore, focal compression of exiting nerves can cause "radicular" symptoms, i.e. numbness and pain running into the arms and associated weakness.

Cervical Myelopathy can occur at any age. Most individuals will be affected at mid to late stages of life.

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Thank you Iwan for an example of a healthy vs. unhealthy spinal MRI. Very good explanation as well. Cheers . Margot x

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Thank you Margot the unhealthy MRI is my very own unfortunately but it's a good example

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Oh! Yes, it looks tight. Wondering if when you had your surgery , did your arm improve?

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No more arm pain was the first thing I noticed when I came round from surgery plus my neck wasn't crunching when I turned my head

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I finally got a CD with my MRIs on it. cervical MRIs look like yours, but also have questionable fracture at C6. MRIs of thoracic spine show same problems throughout C6- T12. Lumbar has wedged disc at L4-5.

I have radiating, burning pain throughout shoulders, down arms,hands and fingers. Spasms, neck pain, stiff neck, rolled shoulders , Upper back pain, lower back pain, spasms in lower back and tailbone area, burning pain, down butt, thighs, legs, ankles, feet and toes with constant spasms. Hurts to sit, lay down, stand, walk.,.. Plus mild scoliosis, removal of many lymph nodes under left arm. Fingers and toes swell and more painful with each inflammatory bout each day. Joint in big toe left foot caused large bunion. Joints under ball if feet painful when walking, soles of feet feel like on hot pavement with each episode, ..,,,..complete loss of bladder control, stomach spasms.....

Doctors are still saying they don't understand where all my pain is coming from.

How can I find a doctor who understands and is willing to give a complete diagnosis and help vwith the pain and treat underlying causes and regain quality of life?

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Hi Jhar sorry to hear about your symptoms when I was diagnosed back in 2014 as soon as I had received the results of my MRI I was referred to a neurosurgeon and only then did they discuss my diagnosis and choice of treatment , I would ask for a referral if you haven't already done so hope this helps

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I've been struggling to find a doctor that is able to understand where my pain is coming from since 2014. So many doctors and so little time, and they still don't understand and each one has their own opinion.

I have MRI's of cervical, thoracic, lumbar & pelvic. Also cervical CT, XRays of all, EMG showing where some problems are. Can you give your opinion on how I can get a comprehensive diagnosis from someone qualified to read these images?

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You need to have a referral from your Dr to see a neurosurgeon if you haven't had one I would definitely ask,My Dr admitted that this was a specialist field and he didn't know enough about myelopathy, we have a support section at myelopathy.org/support hope you find this beneficial

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Thank you for the reply. I will check out the link you sent and keep searching.

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Great news on that arm pain !

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