WHAT IS CERVICAL MYELOPATHY?
Cervical myelopathy is a condition in which a patient is experiencing problems due to compression of the cervical spinal cord. Degeneration of the cervical discs leads to disc bulging, ligament thickening, and loss of space in the spinal canal. This creates tightness and compression on the cervical spinal cord. In the early states, the patient may experience numbness in the hands, difficulty with buttoning shirts or using zippers, dropping objects, balance problems, and possibly a change in gait. The long term problems may include difficulty walking and bowel and bladder dysfunction. The non-operative treatment options are limited and have not been shown to be helpful. The surgical options depend on the specific areas affected and include anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, posterior cervical laminoplasty, and posterior cervical laminectomy and fusion.