Myelopathy is a painful narrowing of the spinal canal that can come with age or as the result of a spinal condition. If you are dealing with the pain, numbness, and reduced function that comes with myelopathy, Coast Spine and Sports Medicine can help with tailored treatments in Orange County, Los Angeles County and Inland Empire.
What Is Myelopathy?
Myelopathy is a spinal disorder the refers to severe spinal cord compression. This nervous system disorder is usually a gradual degenerative condition that affects older people. Myelopathy can be extremely painful and cause pain in the neck, arm, lower back, or leg as well as tingling, numbness, trouble with fine motor skills, abnormal reflexes, trouble walking, and balance issues.
This condition may accompany radiculopathy or pinched nerve roots as they leave the spinal cord.
What Is Cervical Myelopathy?
Cervical myelopathy is a type of myelopathy affecting the cervical spine or neck. This condition causes spinal cord compression in the neck between vertebrae C1 and C7. Cervical myelopathy can cause symptoms that affect the shoulders, neck, arms and hands, including reduced function or reflexes, pain, reduced range of motion, difficulty holding small objects, and balance problems.
What Is Degenerative Myelopathy?
Degenerative myelopathy or spondylotic myelopathy refers to gradual compression of the spinal cord due to degenerative changes to the spine that come with age. These degenerative changes can refer to arthritis or spondylosis.
Degenerative myelopathy happens when spinal discs deteriorate and become stiff, collapse, or bulge into the intervertebral disc space. This moves vertebrae closer together where they rub together and form bone spurs. These bone spurs contribute to spinal stiffening and narrow the spinal canal. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can also contribute to degenerative myelopathy by attacking the synovium, or membrane lining the joints.
How Much Does Myelopathy Treatment Cost in Orange County?
The cost of treating myelopathy depends on many factors, such as the location of the narrowing and the underlying cause of the condition. We will tailor a treatment plan to your condition and review your cost during your initial consultation. Coast Spine and Sports Medicine accepts many forms of insurance as well as financing through CareCredit® to make your treatment as affordable as possible.
What Causes Myelopathy?
Myelopathy comes in many forms and it can affect the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine. It can be the result of many conditions that cause trauma to the spine including:
- Spinal Stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Disc herniation
- Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis that damage the vetebrae
- Bone cancer, spinal tumors, and hematomas
- Spinal injury, spinal infection, and inflammation can cause acute myelopathy
How Is Myelopathy Treated in Orange County?
In some cases, mild myelopathy symptoms can be reduced with non-surgical treatment like physical therapy, medication, and bracing. There are no non-surgical treatments that will reduce compression, however, and the condition will progress with time. Sometimes this progression is gradual but it can also be sudden.
Spinal decompression therapy is the standard treatment option for myelopathy to relieve compression on the spinal cord and ease symptoms. If herniated discs or bone spurs are the cause of the myelopathy, surgery may also be advised to treat them.
Advanced myelopathy is usually treated with laminoplasty, a procedure that enlarges the spinal canal by partially cutting and removing the lamina, or the bone over the spinal cord, to create more space. This procedure retains full flexibility of the spine. An alternative treatment is spinal decompression followed by spinal fusion to fuse two or more vertebrae and stop motion of the spinal segment.
You don’t need to live with the pain and symptoms of progressive myelopathy. Coast Spine and Sports Medicine offers effective and tailored treatment solutions to give you lasting pain relief. Contact us today to schedule your appointment. We welcome patients in Los Angeles County and Orange County, including the communities of Santa Ana, Rancho Cucamonga, and Downey, CA.