Myelopathy | Spinal Cord Compression
The spinal cord is protected by membranes, spinal discs and vertebrae that create the spinal column. When an injury, infection, congenital defect or degenerative disease cause compression of the spinal cord, it can cause myelopathy. The symptoms of myelopathy depend on the section of the spine where the spinal cord compression occurs, which can be in the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine. Our neuro-spine surgeon surgeons at DOCS Health offer myelopathy – spinal cord compression treatment at our medical clinic in Los Angeles.
Spinal cord compression in the neck or cervical spine can occur due to degenerative disease, stenosis, bulging/herniated discs, arthritis, injuries (whiplash), infections and more. The main symptoms of cervical myelopathy include neck pain and possible radiating pain, numbness or weakness into the arms and hands. Severe myelopathy may cause loss of fine motor skills and hand coordination.
In the thoracic spine in the middle to upper back, spinal cord compression is usually caused by a herniated/bulging disc, injury or spine degeneration. Thoracic myelopathy can also be caused by a tumor, arthritis, cysts or a bone spur. Symptoms include mid to upper back pain, balance/coordination issues, incontinence (stool or urinary), trouble walking and numbness.
Lumbar myelopathy is less common than cervical and thoracic, as the spinal cord usually stops just below the bottom of the thoracic spine or at top of the lumbar spine. However, some patients have an extended spinal cord that continues into the upper lumbar spine. If lumbar spinal cord compression occurs, it can cause low back pain, sciatica and loss of coordination.
Treatment for spinal cord compression may require surgery, especially for those with severe symptoms. However, some patients can respond to interventional treatments that relieve pressure on the spinal cord. At DOCS Health, we utilize a multidisciplinary approach with a team of neuro-spine surgeon surgeons and other specialists to determine the safest and most effective myelopathy treatment for our patients.
If you have been diagnosed or suspect you have cervical, thoracic or lumbar myelopathy, treatment is available at DOCS Health. Contact our medical center in Beverly Hills, CA, to schedule a consultation with one of our spine specialists.