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Cervical Myelopathy

how is myelopathy diagnosed?

Hi I am new to this forum and trying to find the cause of my symptoms. How do physicians determine between something like B12 damage or myelopathy?

I was discovered with lowish b12 in April and almost non existant folic acid in June

but an MRI of my neck showed "ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament from c3-4 through c5-6 which narrows at the central canal of the cervical spine. there is degenerative disc change which contributes to narrowing of the central cervical spinal canal" but no focal or generalized myelomalacia "no evidence of any abnormal signal"

it is late and I am over googling but it seems that another MRI further down would be needed to diagnosis myelopathy?

why can't doctors explain better to us lay people?

Thanks in advance :)

3 Replies

My mri showed congenital stenosis with severe spondylosis and spinal cord edema and gliosis, I also have radiculapathy and a host of symptoms relating to myelopathy, the first go to diagnosis for me was fibromyalgia...until I couldn't make a fist or walk, then it was pretty obvious. It's not always what your mri says either, and before they call it myelopathy there is a host of other diagnoses they need to rule out because there are many things that can cause some similar symptoms that have nothing to do with your spine. Not knowing your symptoms, and just reading your post about your mri, myelopathy isn't obvious to me. The canal may have narrowing, but that isn't abnormal with aging, unless it causes stenosis (which isn't mentioned), and even then, having stenosis, which I pretty much had all my life, doesn't always automatically equate to myelopathy. It sounds as if your doctor is started with vitamins first, mine started with the b12 shots too until my degeneration progressed. I don't know if I contributed to your confusion or helped, but I wish you well, sometimes the Healthcare journey for the right answers is a long one.


Hello there. They will usually base it off of your symptoms AND an MRI from my understanding. If your doctor is starting with the B12 shots I'm assuming you are having some sort of symptoms. I do not know how exactly they could differentiate the two. It sounds as though the doctor did not specifically find any cord compression causing a change in the signal within the cord, which is good, BUT that does not mean it can't happen or won't happen. It sounds like you have narrowing (stenosis) in your spinal canal happening as a result of your ligament and a bulging disc. Why can't doctors simply explain our test results in detail to us? Ridiculous we have to go out in search of the answers, but good for you for being your own advocate! I would start with myelopathy.org if you haven't already. Read over the site and symptoms and patient stories. Then I would join some support groups on Facebook. These seem a lot more active than this message board. A couple I really like and have found helpful are:

Cervical Myelopathy Support Group. ACDF, Spine, Joint and Muscle Conditions

Cervical Stenosis and degenerative disc disease

Spinal Stenosis Sufferers United

Radiology support group mri scans, x-rays and ct scans

Good luck to you!


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Good idea to check out myelopathy.org as well. Really interesting info there plus lots of discussion on the Myelopathy Support group on Facebook.


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