Cervical Myelopathy

Cervical Myelopathy Treatment in Orange County

Cervical Myelopathy is a compression of the spinal cord in the neck causes by degenerative changes of the discs and fact joints acquired in adult life.

The aging process results in degenerative changes in the cervical spine that, in advanced stages, can cause compression of the spinal cord resulting in cervical myelopathy. As you age, the bones and cartilage that make up your backbone and neck gradually develop wear and tear. These changes include dehydrated discs, herniated discs, bone spurs, and stiff ligaments.

For most people cervical myelopathy causes no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they typically include pain and stiffness in the neck. Sometimes, cervical spondylosis results in a narrowing of the space needed by the spinal cord and the nerve roots that pass through the spine to the rest of your body. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Tingling, numbness and weakness in your arms, hands, legs or feet
  • Lack of coordination and difficulty walking
  • Stiffness and pain in the morning, then improves after getting up and moving around
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

Initial treatment will involve thorough medical history and physical exam, including the patient’s symptoms. To help detect cervical myelopathy, Robert Louis, MD conducts a neurological exam and may request for diagnostic imaging to find the exact location of nerve damage causing the symptoms of cervical myelopathy.

Computerized tomography (CT Scan): CT scan may aid in determining the exact location of disc causing the nerve root and spinal cord compression.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI):Advanced cases of Cervical Osteoarthritis show abnormal signal within the spinal cord on MRI imaging. In case of atrophy of the spinal cord due to nerve cell loss, also referred to as myelomalacia, surgical outcomes may not be as promising.

Myelogram: A test in which the docor injects liquid dye into your spinal column.

Somatosensory Evoked Potentials (SSEP): An electrical study done by stimulating the arms/legs and then reading the signal in the brain.

The only effective cervical myelopathy treatment is surgical decompression of the spinal canal. Cervical stenosis surgical decompression can be performed through an anterior (front) approach or posterior (back) approach. The type of approach for cervical spinal stenosis is generally dependent on where Dr. Louis’s see’s the majority of the compression is located.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Robert Louis, MD specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery, wherein he incorporates his education, experience and training in cutting edge technology and instrumentation.

Robert Louis, MD, a fellowship-trained Orange County Neurosurgeon, is the Director of the Skull Base and Pituitary Tumor Program at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Orange County, California. Dr. Louis has particular expertise in endoscopic and minimally invasive treatment of brain and spinal conditions.

Dr. Robert Louis specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery for the treatment of Cervical Myelopathy. For appointments, please call (949) 383-4185 or Contact Us.