Orthopedic Doctors in Pensacola FL help patients who have been dealing with a condition known as cervical spondylotic myelopathy. This usually affects older individuals as the spinal cord in the neck area gradually deteriorates in the natural aging process and compresses the spine. Often, patients can manage the disorder through treatments such as spinal decompression with a medical doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor. However, eventually, some patients will benefit from an operation.
About Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy
The medical term spondylosis describes the process of spinal degeneration of any sort, but this occurrence is usually due to osteoarthritis that may develop as people age. Myelopathy describes spinal cord damage. When the problem affects the neck area, people may develop pain and stiffness in the neck, along with pain and weakness in the arms and hands. The hands may tingle or feel numb because of the pressure on the spinal column above the shoulders. As the disorder progresses, weakness in the legs may develop as well.
Treatments for the Disorder
Spinal degeneration can cause the gel-like discs between bones to herniate, or protrude from their optimum position. This leads to the spinal bones pressing on the nerves, which causes discomfort and other symptoms. The discs may become dehydrated when they have herniated.
Decompression equipment stretches the spine and allows the discs to move back into place and rehydrate. The patient may need several sessions for the therapy to work fully.
Surgery for This Condition
Orthopedic Doctors in Pensacola FL perform operations on patients with this condition to decompress the spine and eliminate the excessive pressure on the nerves. The surgery may be performed when more conservative strategies are no longer effective. It becomes the treatment of choice when patients experience chronic debilitating pain, a weakness that affects their fine motor skills or ability to walk normally, and problems with balance.
There are several surgical options to relieve these problems. For example, surgeons from a health care facility such as Panhandle Orthopaedics may remove pieces of bone or discs to create more space in the spinal column. They may perform a spinal fusion to stabilize the spine in the neck area.