Cervical Myelopathy – Anil Kesani MD
Dr. Anil Kesani explains that cervical myelopathy results from a pinched spinal cord or compression of the spinal cord within the spine in the neck region or cervical spine. The compression can be a result of a number of causes including arthritic or degenerative changes, disc herniation or slipped discs, infections, tumors as well as fractures. Cervical myelopathy is often caused by progressive narrowing of the vertebral spinal canal in the neck region. People born with a narrow spinal canal are likely to develop cervical myelopathy quickly if the narrowing continues.
A fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Anil Kumar Kesani, MD, is an orthopedic and spine surgeon at SpineMD. Dr. Anil Kesani is experienced in treating a wide variety of disorders, including degenerative disc disease, disc herniation or slipped disc, spinal fractures, spinal tumors, myelopathy, radiculopathy or pinced nerve pain and cauda equina syndrome.
Why is cervical myelopathy a problem? To put it simply, the compression of the cervical spinal cord leads to impaired transmission of electrical signals from the brain to both the arms and legs. This in turn leads to the concerning symptoms associated with cervical myelopathy.
Symptoms of Cervical Myelopathy
There are a number of symptoms that occur in patients with cervical myelopathy. Broadly speaking the symptoms can be divided into early symptoms versus late or advanced symptoms. Early symptoms are a result of coordination problems such as balance problems or upper extremity fine motor function and coordination problems with difficulty writing, buttoning dropping objects. While later symptoms include inability to walk, bowel and bladder incontinence, weakness or even paralysis.
Patients also experience symptoms resulting from the cause or reason for the spinal cord compression i.e degenerative or arthritic cervical spine symptoms, fracture symptoms, tumor symptoms etc. Therefore patients can experience neck pain, neck stiffness, reduced flexibility, radiating pain in the arms, burning pain, numbness, tingling or symptoms resulting from tumor.
Why is it important to treat cervical myelopathy? Once a patient is found to have cervical myelopathy, referral to a spine surgeon like Dr. Anil Kesani is essential. Spine surgeons treat cervical myelopathy as an urgent condition because it is a progressive disease that in most patients if left untreated will likely result in disability and even paralysis.
The concept of treatment is simple. It is essential to remove the pressure off the pinched on compressed spinal cord. The specific surgery that is utilized depends on the site of the compression, cause of the compression and the number of sites within the spinal cord that gets compressed.
Various surgical options are available including anterior discectomy and fusion (ACDF), disc replacement, posterior decompression and fusion or combined anterior and posterior decompression and fusion.
If you believe either you or a loved one is experiencing cervical myelopathy please call SpineMD at (817) 893 6001 to make an appointment with our spine specialist Anil Kesani, M.D.