What are the Symptoms of Myelopathy?

What are the Symptoms of Myelopathy?

Myelopathy refers to any condition that affects the spinal cord, resulting in dysfunction or damage to the spinal cord. Symptoms of myelopathy can vary depending on the cause and location of the condition along the spinal cord. Common symptoms may include:

  1. Neck or Back Pain:
    • Chronic or severe pain in the neck or back, which may worsen over time.
  2. Weakness or Paralysis:
    • Weakness in the limbs (arms and/or legs) that may progress to partial or complete paralysis.
  3. Difficulty Walking:
    • Unsteady or stumbling gait, coordination problems, or difficulty walking.
  4. Stiffness or Spasticity:
    • Muscle stiffness, spasms, or increased muscle tone.
  5. Numbness or Tingling:
    • Numbness, tingling, or a sensation of pins and needles in the arms, legs, hands, or feet.
  6. Loss of Fine Motor Skills:
    • Difficulty with tasks that require fine motor skills, such as writing or buttoning clothes.
  7. Bowel or Bladder Dysfunction:
    • Difficulty controlling bowel or bladder function, leading to incontinence or difficulty urinating or having bowel movements.
  8. Sensory Changes:
    • Altered sensations or sensitivity to touch, heat, cold, or pain.
  9. Difficulty with Balance:
    • Problems maintaining balance or a feeling of unsteadiness.
  10. Difficulty Swallowing:
    • Trouble swallowing or a sensation of something being stuck in the throat.
  11. Lack of Reflexes:
    • Absent or reduced reflexes, such as the knee-jerk reflex.
  12. Muscle Atrophy:
    • Wasting or shrinking of muscles, often due to lack of use or nerve damage.
  13. Clumsiness:
    • Clumsiness in the hands or difficulty with tasks that require precise movements.

It’s important to note that myelopathy can be caused by various conditions, including spinal cord compression due to herniated discs, spinal stenosis, trauma, tumors, infections, or degenerative changes in the spine. If you suspect myelopathy or experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention for a thorough evaluation, diagnosis, and appropriate treatment. Early diagnosis and intervention can significantly improve outcomes and prevent further damage to the spinal cord.

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