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Cervical spondylosis with myelopathy: Painful and sometimes paralyzing

Often mistaken for arthritis, this disorder causes decreased height of intervertebral discs in the neck.

With the continued “graying” of America, healthcare professionals are caring for more elderly patients than ever. Part of the natural aging process is cervical spondylosis, a progressive degenerative spine condition. In this disorder, vertebral bodies in the neck enlarge through osteophyte (bone spur) formation, while intervertebral discs in the neck become dehydrated, stiff, and calcified, leading to decreased disc height. This combination of processes causes stenosis of the cervical canal, resulting in spinal cord compression.

Nearly everyone who lives long enough will develop cervical spondylosis, but relatively few people will be treated for it. The condition is the most common cause of cervical spinal-cord dysfunction after age 55. Treatment depends on symptoms, which can vary from none to mild to severe, such as quadriparesis (weakness of all four limbs).

Cervical spondylosis is thought to be underdiagnosed because to a large extent its signs and symptoms are expected in the elderly. Persons with the disorder may be told they have arthritis. However, spondylosis does not involve synovial joint inflammation. Rather, it’s a complex process of intervertebral disc changes and osteophyte formation and usually includes loss of lordosis in the cervical spine. Neural elements in the cervical spinal canal are crowded and may become mildly to severely compressed.

Assessment

Magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, or X-rays reveal cervical spondylosis in up to 95% of persons older than age 65. Yet most people with the condition lack signs and symptoms. When these do arise, the most common are neck pain and manifestations of radiculopathy (nerve root irritation or compression resulting in upper extremity symptoms) or myelopathy (spinal cord dysfunction cord resulting in neurologic deficits).

Radiculopathy may cause pain, weakness, or paresthesias varying from mild to severe. Patients describe the pain a deep aching or stabbing pain down the arm. It occurs in a dermatomal distribution and usually affects both arms. Paresthesia may cause numbness, tingling, or a pinprick sensation.

Myelopathy may result in little or no dysfunction—or severe dysfunction, with any of the following:

  • gait disturbance
  • difficulty with fine motor coordination
  • clumsiness of the hands
  • spasticity of the lower extremities
  • motor weakness of all extremities
  • urinary and bowel dysfunction.

Cervical symptoms usually are mechanical in nature, worsening with activity and easing with rest. Patients describe them as deep and agonizing. The pain may be so severe that patients are reluctant to turn their head to speak. They may grasp the back of the neck to demonstrate the location. In some cases, pain radiates into the head, causing cervicogenic headaches.

Signs and symptoms of cervical spondylosis usually have an insidious onset, and patients notice a slow progressive decline. (See the box below.)

On physical examination, you may find some or many of the following:

  • clonus or spasticity of the lower extremities
  • sensory changes (light touch, pinprick sensation, or temperature dysfunction)
  • generalized weakness throughout muscle groups, especially in the extremities
  • poor or pathologic tandem gait
  • atrophy of the hand’s thenar prominence (the fleshy fat pad just superior to the thumb on the ventral portion of the hand)
  • positive L’Hermitte’s sign (shock-like sensations down the spine or arms with rapid neck flexion or extension).
  • In an otherwise asymptomatic patient, hyperreflexia, a positive Babinski test, and a positive Hoffman’s sign (hand contraction in response to tapping on distal finger joints) are early signs of cervical spondylosis. But some patients may have only mild symptoms—or none at all—despite MRIs showing severe cervical spondylosis with spinal-cord compression.

Diagnosis

  • Cervical spondylosis is diagnosed from radiologic tests, which may include cervical X-rays, computed tomography scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and myelography. The condition can be diagnosed from characteristic MRI and X-ray findings, which typically reveal loss of disc height, osteophyte formation, foraminal stenosis, subluxations, and loss of lordosis or kyphosis.

Management

Cervical spondylosis with myelopathy can be recognized early and treated either medically or surgically; waiting until later stages for treatment may make recovery less likely. If the condition progresses rapidly and causes loss of function, early treatment should be considered. Treatment may vary greatly depending on correlation of diagnostic findings with signs and symptoms. Referral for surgery depends on such factors as the degree of the patient’s neurologic dysfunction and provider preference.

Whether to use medical or surgical intervention is controversial. When surgery is recommended, the particular surgical approach may differ from one surgeon to the next. For a patient with early signs and symptoms of myelopathy, some clinicians may recommend surgery, whereas others may recommend conservative therapy first—a “watch and wait” approach to see if symptoms worsen. If symptoms persist or don’t improve to an acceptable degree with an observational or conservative approach, surgery may be recommended.

Medical management

In mildly to moderately symptomatic patients, medical management usually begins with medications and physical therapy. Muscle relaxants and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other analgesics commonly are used to treat cervical spondylosis and associated signs and symptoms. Anticonvulsants and antidepressant drugs may be given to treat neuropathic pain associated with spinal-cord and nerve-root compression.

Some physicians prescribe cervical collars to minimize injury in the event of a fall or other accident. Collars also may reduce pain by limiting motion and relieving the burden on supporting muscles. But their use can cause muscle atrophy and a decreased range of motion (ROM), ultimately leading to worse pain and contributing to worsening spondylosis.

After 6 to 12 weeks of conservative therapy, the patient should be able to determine if symptoms have improved, worsened, or stayed the same. If conservative therapy doesn’t help or if symptoms worsen during this interval, surgery may be recommended.

Surgery

The goal of surgery is to arrest symptom progression and if possible, restore lost function. Depending on diagnostic findings, correlation with the patient’s signs and symptoms, and the surgeon’s preference, one of several approaches may be used.

The ultimate surgical treatment is to take pressure off the neural elements by removing bone and decompressing the spinal cord. Once that occurs, the spinal elements and bone must be restabilized with a spinal fusion procedure.

For a patient with neurologic deficits associated with cervical spondylotic myelopathy, decompression is the goal of surgery. Decompression may take place using a ventral approach to the cervical spine (discectomy or corpectomy), a dorsal approach (laminectomy or osteotomy), or both. In most cases, the patient requires a procedure to restabilize and correct the deformity, called arthrodesis or fusion.

Not all spinal fusion procedures are the same. For an elderly patient with cervical spondylosis and myelopathy, the fusion is usually instrumented. To relieve spinal-cord compression, bone is removed at multiple levels and the spine is restabilized with instrumentation. Various devices may be used, including screws, rods, cages, cadaver bone, or an autograft (the patient’s own bone).

Preoperative and perioperative care

Discuss with patients what to expect before, during, and after surgery. Explain the potential risks, complications, and expected outcomes. Encourage patients to strive to be in the best physical condition possible. Inform them that they must obtain formal medical clearance for general anesthesia and surgery.

Instruct patients to stop taking anticoagulants (including NSAIDs and herbal preparations) and to stop smoking before surgery, as instructed by the surgeon. Urge them to make arrangements for help at home after discharge. In some cases, patients may undergo special preoperative testing, such as vocal evaluation before ventral surgery to check for impaired vocal cords and anesthesia evaluation for fiberoptic intubation in cases of severe spinal-cord compression.

Inform the patient that intraoperative care commonly includes administration of antibiotics and patient positioning. Usually a supine or prone position depending on the surgical approach, with careful attention to pressure points and genitalia.

Postoperative nursing care

Postoperative responsibilities include neurologic assessment, monitoring for procedure-related complications, pain management, incision care, mobilization, constipation prevention, and discharge education. Perform neurologic assessment at intervals ordered, focusing on extremity strength and movement. Compare results to preoperative findings and correlate them with the surgical procedure performed.

Monitor for complications, including incisional hematoma, cerebrospinal fluid leakage, and wound infection. Complications specific to ventral surgery include problems with airway patency, difficulty swallowing, and vocal hoarseness. After surgery using the dorsal approach, monitor the incision site and ensure proper drain management because of the large amount of drainage expected.

Pain control is essential after spinal fusion surgery, which causes significant pain. Initially, most patients receive analgesics I.V., I.M, or by a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) unit, and then transition to oral medications. As ordered, administer other drugs, which may include muscle relaxants and NSAIDs. For neuropathic pain, expect to give anticonvulsants and antidepressants. Other pain-management techniques may include heat or ice application and frequent position changes.

Postoperative ambulation and mobility are crucial to help control the patient’s pain and decrease the risk of complications associated with bed rest. Mobility can vary greatly and may depend on the level of preoperative mobility and procedure performed. Patients are at increased risk of constipation due to analgesics, anesthesia, and reduced mobility.

Incision care varies with the procedure. Keep the incision site clean and dry. If drains are present, know that output should decrease daily. Monitor for signs and symptoms of infection.

Be aware that a physical therapist should evaluate the patient the day after surgery. Occupational therapy should be ordered as needed; some patients have no postoperative upper-extremity deficits or symptoms. Cervical collar use depends on the surgeon’s preference and type of procedure performed. Some patients may require acute or subacute inpatient rehabilitation before discharge. Elderly patients should expect to need assistance at home for several weeks after surgery, even after discharge from a rehabilitation facility.

When providing discharge teaching, discuss limitations and restrictions set by the surgeon, such as permitted cervical-spine ROM, use of a cervical collar, driving, medication management, and return to activities of daily living. Instruct patients to report wound drainage, fever, or other signs or symptoms of infection, severe pain, or new neurologic decline or deficit. (For prognosis, see the box below.)

 

Going the nonsurgical route

A patient who’s mildly to moderately myelopathic with stable symptoms may opt not to have surgery unless symptoms become unstable and a downward neurologic decline resumes. Such a patient commonly asks, “What’s my risk for becoming paralyzed?” This question can’t be answered definitively. But it’s reasonable to tell patients they have a slightly higher risk of neurologic injury or compromise than persons without cervical spondylosis. (At the same time, you might want to remind them we’re all at risk for catastrophic injury each time we walk across the street or drive a car). Despite their slightly elevated risk, patients with stable mild to moderate symptoms should be able to live without severe restrictions and continue to engage in enjoyable activities without fearing a catastrophe.

Selected references

Harrop JS, Hanna A, Silva MT, Sharan A. Neurological manifestation of cervical spondylosis: An overview of signs, symptoms, and pathophysiology. Neurosurgery 2007;60(1, Supp 1 1): S14-20).

Matz PG, Pritchard PR, Hadley MN. Anterior cervical approach for the treatment to f cervical myelopathy. Neurosurgery. 2007;60(1 Supp 1):S64-70).

Mazanec D, Reddy A. Medical management of cervical spondylosis. Neurosurgery. 2007;60(1 Supp1- 1):S43-50.

Mummaneni PV, Haid RW, Rodts GE Jr. Combined ventral and dorsal surgery for myelopathy and myeloradiculopathy. Neurosurgery. 2007;60(1 Supp1 1):S82-89.

Shedid D, Benzel EC. Cervical spondylosis anatomy: Pathophysiology and biomechanics. Neurosurgery. 2007;60(1 Supp 1 1):S1-13.

Wiggins GC, Shaffrey CI. Dorsal surgery for myelopathy and myeloradiculopathy. Neurosurgery. 2007;60(1 Supp1 1):S71-81.

Ann M. Harrington Henwood is a Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Center for Spine Health at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

23 thoughts on “Cervical spondylosis with myelopathy: Painful and sometimes paralyzing”

  1. Brandi says:

    I agree, I am a 35 year old female and pretty healthy I might add minus this condition, which is still exactly uncertain how it started. Thinking back, I was in a pretty high impact rear end collision at midnight, at a red light, with barley any traffic activity. He hit me me at 40-60 mph. I was 18 or 19 when this occurred, my parents did not urge me to go to ER after driving myself home, they said I don’t want to be one of those people who sue someone and ruin their life to make an other people money. I had no clue, the damage that would follow. I worked construction for 6 years, ages 23-28, was in an abuse relationship ages 25-28, i lost my career and was forced to take a step back and do more manual labor for less, including side jobs landscaping and grove work, to cleaning 2-4 houses a day for a cleaning company, standing long hours at a gas station job and stocking… all the time I had this going on. And yes there were plenty of signs. First signs started at age 25 when I started getting diagnosed with pinched nerves and sprain necks for the next 10 years, till now. I have all medical records which show that I have had symptoms leading to this for last 10 years and was refused to be given any test for specific diagnosis. Only chest and shoulder x-rays and I had specifically asked for an MRI 3xs after being sent home with pain meds and follow up suggestions, which I agree now that I know it could have helped me if I would have. I worked a lot of hours and they said it was stress and a crappy sleep cycle I was on. I started getting more serious symptoms around August 2018, so 8 or 9 months ago, when I was experiencing short term memory loss and slurred speech and extreme fatigue, aggression and by October I had vertigo one night after seeing some caution lights on a truck and being on my cell phone. My body was being pulled to the right when I would try to stand and I could barley make sense of anything, so now I’m older with my 3 beautiful girls looking up to me and I went in to the next county overs ER, the next day when I was up to drive myself and symptoms had cleared. I told them I thought I may have had a seizure or stroke and what exactly happened. They sent me in right away for a CT scan, which came back nothing alarming. Stated it was good and bad, bc I don’t know what caused the episode. Suggested I see an Ear nose and throat Dr. Note for visit: while in triage a male nurse played masseuse and hurt my right shoulder which was tense. Also 5 years ago, I had a good PCP who sent me to a crappy neurologist who sent me to have an MRI finally, but only did my head. He sent me away with sleeping meds and depression meds. I have anxiety, not depression, although this last 10 years has been pretty depressing not knowing why I’ve changed so much and been in such pain. So, like I was saying before… I left the ER thankful that nothing was serious and it’s all in my head like they’ve been telling me. I started getting numbness in the tip of my thumb within 3-4 days of that ER visit for virtigo. I did some research on what may cause it and convinced my husband to loan me 75 to see a chiropractor, I was assuming it might be anything from carpal tunnel to other serious conditions. He gave me an X-ray of my neck and informed me that he could not and would not touch me until i have an MRI done. He actually was kind enough to send me with a referral considering that I did not have a primary care doctor until a few months ago, only because I was on Medicaid before and did not even realize I was still active. When I found out what my condition was, which showed narrowing of my cervical spine at C3-C7 and dessication of 3 of those disc and 2 bone spurs on front. I went through on my own and got a Pimary care doctor, to get a neurologist and neurosurgeon along with setting up a physical therapist. When would you even believe that my daughter and I were rear end by 2 cars in a 3 car collision at a red light, on my way to my first neurologist appointment. Yes, I stated previous injury and drove selves to closest ER, the one I have been misdiagnosed by for last 17 years. Yes. The car accident was 16 years ago, but this hospital wrongly diagnosed me at age 17 with a condition I do not have, found through recent testing last 3 months and anyways… I was given a CT scan which showed same condition in cervical spine differently worded though and now I have narrowing in my (lumbar) L3-S1, with herniated disc at L5-S1. Got overwhelmed and extremely scared to drive, plus my daughter truck we were in was messed up, I broke and called a local attorney, worse choice at time but didn’t know it. They had me going to a chiropractor and I only lasted 3 days straight and on Valentine’s day I was on my dirt road (thank God for that), when became in such pain I lost consciousness outside my truck while on my knees, but did hit my head, when I woke I had blood running down my face from my left eyebrow and bridge of nose. I realized what happened and called my mom, bc she was close or hoping she was but got in my truck and tried to drive, but only made it onto the property we live on, which is another 10 min of diving until I would be home to explain, my step fathers family owns the property and was hoping someone would come though. After last pass out I took keys out of ignition and tried getting out in so so much pain, don’t even know how to describe, next I remember I was being woken up by my mom and daughter who were yelling at me to wake up. I did and they said I lost control of my bladder while I was still in my truck apparently and found me shaking in convulsions on the ground outside the truck. I had 3-4 more episodes that followed, in which one of them after my mom got me in her back seat I had to get out I was in pain again and she said she didn’t see it coming but I fell to the ground and then right after up against her tire. I lost it 2 more times while she drove through pasture. Whole time they could and deff should have called 911, I remember hearing my mom say to my daughter not to dial 911 on her phone to use no e if she was going to do that and that she should see if I wanted to go. Dude I was so freaking out of it, even into the following day, that was on a Thursday, the following Tuesday I waited, scared to drive and no one to take me obviously clear, my primary care visit referred me to the ER and I went straight away. They did all their test and sent me home following day. I was cleared for surgery on the 5th after all these test lat 6 months or so ( a lot of testing was done to get my surgery through 3 different doctors ). I ended up having an ACD on my C5-6andC6-7 fusion and 3 big bone spurs taken out. Only two were noticeable in MRI. My surgeon was great and I’m only post Op and home 4 days now. Today I tried to get out of the house and had my daughter drive me down to the canal so I could see the fish and do a little walking, very bad mistake on my end. I was starting to feel a little better and drinking water, i did eat and only took half of my prescribed pain med 7 hours before this, but when we got back to our driveway, I started feeling weird and warned my daughter I may pass out. My Vision and next my hearing warned me and next I knew I had passed out forward, hitting my head on the dash of our rental van ( truck from accident has been in shop 3 weeks now) she said I was out she was yelling at me to stop shaking my head, said I was shaking my head as if saying no, but really fast and I could not wake up, when I did, it was only a couple seconds and I was out again this time she caught me so I didn’t hit my head. The 3rd time I woke I immediately felt nauseous and vomited up anything in me, mostly aloe water and crackers. When this happened she warned me not to get out of truck, I had the door open then so I could be sick outside of the vehicle. She ran to get my mom bc my phone was dead. I made my way into my house and onto the recliner that i have been stuck using for last 8 months. I did not want to have another episode outside in the heat like before. And this is where I leave off. I am praying that I did not compromise any work done and after this happened at 3pm today, I felt like it was day 1 all over. I have a follow up emergency schedule for Tuesday and I will have to explain. Main point and inspiration for sharing my situation is that yes, there tends to be a huge age discrimination with these conditions, because they are naturally seen in older patients in 60s and up. I never even thought to say I was in all the situations leading to my condition, because I did not consider them nor even know what was wrong with me, but everything became clear after being diagnosed. If you have any slight feeling that this could happen to you please seek attention now. If I would have been given the right testing for my symptoms sooner when I asked 6, 7 and 8 years ago I would not of had to have this procedure done, I could have possibly rehabilitated myself through healthy natural remedies like yoga, massage therapy and more. Instead i am where i am today and can only hope and pray for a better and stronger tmrw. God bless All.

  2. kassandra says:

    I am 35 years old and I have all the things in my neck. My arms, back, and legs burn, I feel like I get pins and needles from my shoulders to the bottom of my feet. sometimes I feel as if I am going to fall over and now I am getting cluster headaches I don’t know what to do my dr. wants to keep giving me shots in the neck that don’t work. @35 I should not be feeling this bad.

  3. Paloma says:

    One day I woke up tumbling as I got out of bed. I figured I wasn’t fully awake maybe? As the hours passed my symptoms worsen. I had a bad headache, fever and felt extremely tired and with imbalance as I walked. Long story short I ended up not able to move my legs nor arms and hands. I was paralyzed. (I’m only 38) I had no idea what was happening to me? I was hospitalized and had many tests, spinal tab and blood work but they didn’t find anything wrong with me. Finally I was told it was cervical myelopathy affecting disc c3c4c4. Symptoms have improved with rest, I’m able to walk with a walker but I’m so fearful for my future.

  4. Shakina says:

    I have cervical spondloysis myelopathy and my doctor said i need surgery I have pain all the time not sure about the surgery. But not sure about the surgery

  5. Espanola Gilliam says:

    Hello my name is Espanola Gilliam . I had two surgeries for my c4-6. I was told.” I would get better, but that was a lie. I’m only 44yrs, and was injured at my job, and was diagnosed with Cervical spondylosis with severe stenosis. I also have myelomalacia. I tell you this..” the surgery didn’t not help”. My neck feels like electric shock, and unbearable pain rushing down my lower extremities including buttocks pain. Not to mention the numbness in both of my hands. Can’t tell if I’m touching hot, or cold water and holding anything in my hands is a very waist of time. I can’t sleep at night, because I can’t breathe. I pray you all take your time, because this pain everyday I don’t wish on my worse enemy.

  6. Cervical spondylosis is a serious issue, which mainly targets the aging people or it can be seen in few of the middle aged persons as well. Poor posture, degeneration, long sitting and unprincipled sleeping cause such problems.

  7. mark says:

    I had recent onset (2-3 months ago) of numbness and weakness in left hand. I had surgery for bilateral carpal tunnel last year. At that time, the nerve conduction study showed ulnar nerve slowing, but I really had no symptoms. Carpal tunnel sx was 100% effective. So when my numbness seemed to come on a bit rapidly I thought it was from the typical cause, the elbow. But further nerve conduction studies showed it was related to a cervical issue. MRI showed severe spinal cord compression at c4-5 & c5-6 w cord bruising. Neurosurgeon was so worried, he scheduled 2 level ACDF immediately. So, sx is tomorrow. I have a friend who waited a long time to get this done and now suffers from permanent cord atrophy. I am very anxious to say the least. I will try to remember to write again post-op.

  8. Michele Lucy says:

    Age has nothing to do with spine issues. I was misdiagnosed for decades and refused MRI and proper treatment. I was told I was not old enough to have spine issues. I was misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia until my cervical collapsed internally and was slowly severing my spinal cord, I was bed ridden. It was discovered I have congenital spinal stenosis. My entire spine is collapsing, only 7 thoracic levels are not having issues. I had injections as a teen and major spine surgery at 30 and still dozens of doctors would not listen or help until I was 49 and looking at being a quad. There is serious age discrimination in medicine and age has nothing to do with sickness, disease, birth defects etc… I was 49 when spine collapsed and ,I had shrink about 2 inches and looked like a hunch back with pain down my arms and legs. The quackery in medicine is appalling and misdiagnosis is killing 200,000+ people a year.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have cervical pain and doctors prescribe medicin I am afraid to take since I suffer high blood pressure, high colesterol, etc., and such medicines are not appropriate for me. Is there a medicine for my pain safe enough?

  10. Bjimmis says:

    My cervical spinal stenosis is located c3 to c7. Arthritic doctor said no surgery unless I want to be paralyzed from the neck down. Exercise never helped. Had terrible head pain for 1 1/2 years. Finally found a head doctor who at least gave me a medicine that takes away the constant headaches. Know Know my situation is getting worse with numbness in right fingers and loss of voice now and again. I’m living life to the fullest as best I can. Who knows what tomorrow brings. Good luck all.

  11. Gerry L says:

    This is late April 2014. I have been through all the preop.stuff and I now waiting for an operation date. I am 59 years old and I retired last January and started feeling all the symtoms of spinal stenosis and had the M.R.I done and there it was three vertabraes sqeezing on my spinal cords also causing myelopathy. Did some internet hunting and found a wonderful neuro-surgeon at Toronto Western in Toronto Canada. His name is Dr. Taufik Valiante what a great and caring Doctor.

  12. melissa says:

    I have had little to no voice for almost 2.5 years. I am experiencing severe neck pain and now pain going from my shoulder to my elbow on the right side. I have seen my primary physician, 2 ENT (going in September to my 3rd ENT), a neurologist, a pain management specialist, a physical therapist, orthopedic specialist and 2 speech pathologists. I have had tests after tests from MRI’s, brain scans, blood work, pain shots (which caused chemical meningitis).Has anyone else have these symptoms?

  13. Struggling Sarah says:

    I am on a count down to having this surery and am very scared bu the pain has got so
    Bad. I am sick of the twitching and the electrick shocks. My legs .arms and chest heart and now ji have head aches too. Life isn’t worth, living. My op is on the 30th and I would love sme feedback on what I can expect to improve. Thanks in advance. Ps I’m a 43 old mother dyNg to get out and about and get. A to work

  14. Anonymous says:

    I have recently discovered that I have 4 discs pressing against the spinal column and my symtoms are extreme pain in the neck and pins and needles down the arm to the hand. I sometimes struggle to hold a pen and as I do many tile layout designs this is really bugging me. Doctor does not want to operate, my concern is would it not be better to operate now than wait until I am older and less able to handle surgery? Any suggestions out there?

  15. Jen says:

    I just discovered prolotherapy. I feel better after the first appointment!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I too think I’m too young for this condition, yet here I am. The pain comes and goes, but when it comes, it is intense. I found quite a bit of relief from AminoActiv, which I rub directly on my neck. None of my doctors have suggested surgery.

  17. james says:

    I think surgery may help in great extent in cervical pain disease.

  18. Tammy says:

    Pain has not improved. I saw ortho doctor for severe knee pain. He told my my myelopathy has now affected my tendons (tendinopathy). I am only 48 years old. I cannot believe something like this could happen at my age. Hopefully your father will have better results. My MRI does show a spinal cord lesion due to ischemia.

  19. Srini says:

    Hi George
    My father has similar synptoms and we are assessing whether to go via surgical route. Did surgery help alleviate the pain in your case or in anyone’s case et all? Main concern for my father is inflammatory pain in back and limbs for last 5 years

  20. Tammy says:

    I had unexplained severe neck pain for years. Recently, I developed rapid progression of severe weakness and pain in arms & legs, unsteady gait, twitching and urinary hesitancy. MRI showed c5-c6 disk hernication with stenosis. Had surgery 5 weeks ago for cervical disk replacement. Arm and leg strength have improved, however I still have spasticity in arms and legs and significant pain. I fear chronic pain for the rest of my life. Please take neck pain seriously!

  21. Anonymous says:

    I agree do not mess around with this problem! I had a tramatic fall 12 yrs ago beleive me when I say that I was told that it is just chronic pain I am living with on a daily basis even though I told doctors I temporarally lose feeling in my legs, pain can be anywhere at any given time, very debilitating I had 2 MRI done after the accident showed up in both cevrical & lumbar but finally a dr. gave me a diagnosis of this cevrical spondylosis joint w myelopethy just had my SSI hearing !!!

  22. George says:

    Don`t mess around with this problem! If you feel the symptoms coming on, get it checked out immediately. I was diagnosed w/Cervical Spondylosis with Myelopathy about 4 years ago. I`m fused from C2 – C6 now. The pain , weakness & burning sucks. Nothing seems to help it except rest! Also, now I`m on SSDI & Medicare & only 53 years old.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I have recently had a sudden attack of total weakness in all limbs.Thankfully temporary. I have C5 degenerative disc and narrowing to the spinal cord. Now I get general symptons but painfull neck.
    Neurologist says he is at a loss yet I have these symptons. Anyone else had same can help please?

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