Cervical Myelopathy Treatment in Boston MA
Cervical myelopathy is a condition that refers to a compression of the spinal cord specifically in the area of the neck, which is known as the cervical spine.
Frank X. Pedlow Jr., MD is a top spine surgeon in Boston, MA. If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of myelopathy in the Boston area, contact Dr. Pedlow today to schedule an appointment.
What Causes Cervical Myelopathy?
This particular condition is rather common, as it is typically brought on by natural wear and tear of the cervical vertebrae over the course of time. Between these vertebrae exist flexible disks of tissue that are both soft and incredibly tough. These disks help facilitate smooth motions of the neck by not allowing the vertebrae bones to grind against one another. They also provide needed cushion that allows the neck to expand and contract so that we may move our head in all sorts of different directions.
As this degenerative process continues, the vertebrae are likely to form bone spurs on their outer edges. Bone spurs, also known as osteophytes, are jagged pieces of bone that stick out at the end of a joint.
In respect to bone spurs of the cervical vertebrae, these pointed formations can lead to significant amounts of pain and stiffness in the neck and they begin to grind against one another during neck movements.
It is also possible for an individual to suffer an injury that may displace one or more disks in their neck. This herniation often leads the disk to push on the spinal cord and spinal nerves, leading to intense amounts of pain and discomfort.
Symptoms of Cervical Myelopathy
Neck pain and stiffness has already been mentioned as a common indicator of cervical myelopathy, but there are several other signs of this condition, such as:
- Nerve pain throughout the arms and legs
- Impaired fine motor skills
- Hand numbness or loss of grip strength
- Balance problems
- A heavy feeling in the legs
If issues of cervical myelopathy continue to progress without proper treatment, persons with the condition are likely to experience more severe symptoms such as fecal and urinary incontinence, and paralysis.
Treatment Options in Boston
Most patients who are diagnosed with cervical myelopathy early on will benefit from nonsurgical treatments like physical therapy and prescribed medications. Both of these options offer significant relief from tension and stiffness of the neck, but will not be suitable for those with advanced cases of cervical myelopathy.
More complex situations will typically require surgical intervention. It is especially common for patients to utilize the many noninvasive treatment methods available until these methods no longer alleviate their symptoms. Because cervical myelopathy is often a degenerative disease, many individuals will eventually turn to surgery as their pain progressively worsens over time.
Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Pedlow
If you are interested in exploring other treatment options for your case of cervical myelopathy, please contact Dr. Frank Pedlow today to speak with a specialist. You may call (617) 227-9300 or visit our website to request an appointment.