Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Neck FAQ

Question:

My 66-year old father was just diagnosed with myelopathy due to congenital cervical stenosis. What is this?

Answer:

Simply put, the hole in his spinal canal isn’t large enough for the size of his spinal cord. There is pressure on the spinal cord because of it. To break this down for you, myelopathy is the medical term for any change in the spinal cord. It could be caused by a variety of different conditions. Congenital tells us that he’s had the stenosis or narrowing of the spinal canal since birth. This condition is treatable. Antiinflammatories and physical therapy can help manage symptoms if it causes neck, shoulder, or arm pain. Changes in sensation and muscle weakness are signs that the condition is more serious. Surgery may be the next step to enlarge the opening and take the pressure off the cord. James S. Harrop, MD, et al. Cervicothoracic Radiculopathy Treated Using Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy/Discectomy. In Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. March 2003. Vol. 98. No. 3. Pp. 131-136.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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