Cervical myelomalacia — symptoms, treatments, surgery

Is minimally invasive back stabilization right for my cervical myelomalacia?

Minimally invasive back stabilization may be a treatment option for some patients who are experiencing pain from degenerative spine conditions like cervical myelomalacia (the softening of the spinal cord in the upper spine). This condition can occur when there is insufficient blood supply to the spinal cord, and is often caused by sports-related injuries to the spinal cord or by spinal degeneration that happens naturally due to aging.

While a minimally invasive procedure for cervical myelomalacia does offer a number of benefits over traditional open spine surgery, it is still a serious surgical procedure and should be treated as such. When determining whether a patient is a candidate for minimally invasive stabilization (MIS), a surgeon will take into consideration the severity of the patient’s condition, his or her age and his or her overall level of health. Keep in mind that surgery should only become an option after a patient has already attempted a wide range of non-surgical treatments over the course of several months.

MIS procedures for cervical myelomalacia

When considering MIS for cervical myelomalacia, patients should learn as much as possible about the procedure, its risks and benefits and what the recovery process may entail. Below is a basic overview of minimally invasive back stabilization surgery at Laser Spine Institute:

  • The surgery is performed in an outpatient setting.
  • A small incision is required for the surgeon to access the affected areas of the spine.
  • The disc or bone material that is causing constriction or softening of the spinal cord is completely removed.
  • An implant, bone graft, and the patient’s own stem cells are inserted into the space between adjacent cervical vertebrae that was formerly occupied by the damaged disc.

The recovery process

The recovery process after minimally invasive neck or back stabilization will be different for every patient. However, the first four to six weeks after surgery are crucial for rehabilitation. While it is important for patients to become mobile again in the days following surgery, it is just as important that they do not overexert themselves or perform any lifting, bending or twisting. A full set of instructions, limitations and exercises will be provided by the patient’s surgeon and physical therapy consultants.

Patients who are considering minimally invasive neck or back stabilization can contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more. Our team would be happy to provide you with your MRI or CT scan review and discuss your candidacy for our innovative procedures.