Causes of Myelopathy Include Sudden Trauma to the Spine
Trauma to the spine is not one of the main causes of myelopathy, but it is a significant one nonetheless. Most cases of myelopathy develop as a result of the natural aging process, but sudden traumas can also cause compression of the spinal cord. These events can cause one of the vertebrae or discs in the spine to protrude out of its normal position where it can press up against the spinal cord, or they can cause the inner gelatinous core of a disc to leak outward into the spinal canal. When the spinal cord is compressed, patients can experience a number of uncomfortable symptoms.
Events that cause traumatic spinal cord injuries
Traumatic events that can potentially cause myelopathy include:
- Automobile accidents
- Industrial or occupational accidents
- Sports injuries
- Violent assault
Although these events are certainly capable of triggering myelopathy, they don’t always result in injuries to the spinal cord. Many people experience traumatic events without ever developing any spinal complications.
Treating the symptoms of myelopathy
People who do develop a spinal injury as the result of a trauma may find it difficult to participate in their normal everyday activities. Myelopathy often results in pain and weakness in the arms and legs, and even changes in hand-eye coordination, which can make it difficult for individuals to drive, work or participate in their normal hobbies. Pain medications, physical therapy and other forms of treatment are often necessary.
At Laser Spine Institute, we offer several minimally invasive surgical options for patients with spinal complications such as myelopathy. If conservative treatments fail to provide adequate symptom relief, we can help you determine if you’re a good candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.
To learn more about trauma to the spine and other causes of myelopathy, or to consult with one of our experts about your possible treatment options, contact Laser Spine Institute today.