The pathology that affects the spinal cord is different. Apart from trauma, common causes of myelopathy (spinal cord disorders) are autoimmune, infectious, neoplastic (cancer), vascular, degenerative (of the central nervous system or spine) and hereditary (inherited) diseases. The spinal cord can be affected at one or more levels, with varying symptoms, from tingling or numbness to acute pain.The most common spinal conditions are degenerative in nature: herniated discs in the cervical and lumbar spine, arthritis in the cervical and lumbar spine, and stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) resulting from a combination of these conditions, usually causing pain, numbness, tingling and / or weakness.

What age categories / stages of physical activity appear?

This pathology can occur both at a young age and later, in both those with athletic abilities and those with moderate or low levels of physical activity. Most degenerative components usually occur as a result of local anatomical changes, which evolve over time. Occasionally, acute conditions such as herniated discs or, sometimes patients have congenital stenosis – a narrower spinal canal that does not allow major variations or changes to occur, the symptoms appearing earlier.

How is the treatment chosen?

Most of the decision-making process is based on the patient’s history, clinical examination and paraclinical investigations such as radiographs, CT or MRI. Surgery is generally the last alternative, once conservative treatment measures (kinetotherapy, analgesic medication, rest) have failed, except in acute cases, emergencies.

What is the recovery process?

In general, most spinal surgeries are performed to improve the neurological component. Most of these neurological problems resolve (disappear) relatively early in the recovery period, usually in the first days or weeks. As time goes by, patients notice both neurological and mechanical improvements (neck and back pain, flexibility and ease of movement).

Learn more about our neurology team here.

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