Cervical myelopathy occurs when there is severe compression upon the spinal cord in the neck therefore affecting strength and sensation in the arms/legs, balance issues, or bowel/bladder functions. This is a severe medical condition that will progressively get worse if not treated with surgery. Cervical myelopathy is a debilitating condition that affects your everyday life.
The patient may present with weakness of arms/legs causing clumsiness and trouble walking. Also they may have problems doing simple daily activities like buttoning a shirt, turning a door know, opening a jar, and even bladder urgency. If this goes untreated the patient will continually get worse as time goes on and may become bound to a wheelchair. This is why recognition and correction of this condition is so important. Once surgery is performed it helps to stop the progression of the symptoms.
Surgery type depends on the severity and location of the cord compression. Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) or Posterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (PCDF) or both can be done to alleviate the compression off the spinal cord.