Wesley Chapel Myelopathy Doctor
If you have already been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, which is the narrowing of the channel where the spinal cord and its nerves are located, you may be at greater risk of developing myelopathy.
Myelopathy may appear out of the blue or the symptoms may increase over time. Because the pain may not occur right away, the condition could progress significantly before you are in enough pain to visit a physician.
A Wesley Chapel myelopathy doctor could make a definite diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment to provide pain relief and help you regain mobility. When you are suffering from the effects of myelopathy, an experienced physician could help.
What is Myelopathy?
Myelopathy occurs when there is a compression of the spinal cord. This compression may occur in the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar areas of the spine, corresponding to the neck, mid-chest, and lower back. In older adults, cervical myelopathy could be the most common and thoracic myelopathy the least frequent type of the condition.
In severe cases, myelopathy affects the entire spinal cord. The compression ascends to the neck or descends towards the hips. In a worst-case scenario, untreated myelopathy might lead to paralysis.
Symptoms of Compression
Common symptoms of myelopathy include pain in the lower back, or the neck, arms, and legs. The area in pain usually corresponds to the part of the spine where the myelopathy occurs. Other symptoms include:
- Weakness in the extremities
- Walking difficulties, including changes in gait
- Coordination problems
- Fine motor skill difficulty
- Bladder or bowel control issues – this indicates a medical emergency
A person should consult a Wesley Chapel myelopathy doctor if they are exhibiting any of the above symptoms.
Causes of Spinal Compression
Myelopathy results from trauma, but non-traumatic myelopathy may typically occur to older people with degenerative spinal issues. These may include:
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated discs
- Spinal tumor
- Spinal infection
People with rheumatoid arthritis, other autoimmune diseases, or multiple sclerosis are especially vulnerable to developing myelopathy. In some cases, myelopathy may result from other treatments, such as radiation.
Spinal deformities may also develop into myelopathy. Kyphosis, which may accompany osteoarthritis, especially in older women, may also cause myelopathy.
Available Diagnosis and Treatment Options
A myelopathy doctor in Wesley Chapel could perform a physical examination and take a person’s complete medical history. Common diagnostic tests for myelopathy include X-rays, an MRI that shows whether stenosis is present, or a myelography. The latter test involves using fluoroscopy to show spinal cord abnormalities.
Treatment for myelopathy may depend on the cause and extent of the compression. Some patients may also benefit from wearing braces for support and undergoing physical therapy. The use of over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen may alleviate pain. Since this conservative treatment will not stop compression, and symptoms may get worse.
Spinal Decompression Surgery
For many patients, spinal decompression surgery is the best option for myelopathy relief. Such a surgery could relieve compression on the spinal cord while removing material from herniated discs or bone spurs if they are the cause of the compression.
If stenosis caused the myelopathy, the patient may require a laminoplasty, which might increase the space for the spinal cord and nerve roots and could relieve the compression. The individual could speak to a Wesley Chapel doctor regarding myelopathy or any spinal cord ailment or injury.
Work With a Wesley Chapel Myelopathy Doctor
If you are experiencing myelopathy symptoms, you need the services of an experienced Wesley Chapel myelopathy doctor. They could help treat your myelopathy as well as any underlying conditions to help you live the fullest life possible. Call today for a consultation.