Sunday, 7 May 2017

Less Common Causes of Cervical Myelopathy in Malaysia

Compression of the spinal cord in the cervical spine that results in motor and sensory dysfunction affecting the upper extremities is known as cervical myelopathy. Sometimes a severe compression of the spinal cord at the cervical region can also cause motor and sensory deficient in the lower extremities and disrupt the bowel and bladder function. Degenerative changes in the cervical spine can cause severe cervical myelopathy. There are a few causes that lead to compression of the spinal cord in the cervical region. Narrowing of the spinal canal where the spinal cord is located due to degenerative processes or congenital causes can cause cervical myelopathy. Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament or calcification of the ligamentum flavum can result in spinal cord compression. Posterior bony osteophytes arising from the vertebral bodies and uncinated processes can cause narrowing of the spinal canal. Disc herniation or slip disc in the neck is another common cause for cervical myelopathy.


Degenerative changes of the lower cervical spine are more common and can cause more significant signs and symptoms in the affected region. C5/C6 and C4/C5 are the two most common levels affected by degenerative processes in the cervical spine. Spondylosis of the facet joint or hypertrophy of the facet joints can be a cause of spinal canal stenosis and cervical myelopathy. However, the presence of spondylosis or hypertrophy of the facet joints only rarely causes spinal cord compression. There may be other factors that are causing spinal cord compression at the same time. 

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