Cervical Stenosis / Cervical Myelopathy

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At the UCLA Health Spine Center, our experts diagnose, manage and treat all spinal injuries and conditions. Call 310-319-3475 to connect with a spine specialist.

What You Should Know About Cervical Stenosis / Cervical Myelopathy

Cervical Stenosis or Cervical Myelopathy is a condition where there is compression of the spinal cord in the cervical region (in the neck). This compression can be a serious condition and can lead to swelling or damage to the spinal cord. This condition can lead to progressive weakness and possible paralysis if not appropriately identified and treated. Patients frequently notice progressive deterioration in their hand and gait function.


The symptoms of cervical myelopathy may include loss of balance, loss of coordination, weakness and spasticity, loss of sensation, weakness, and difficulty walking.


Cervical myelopathy is usually first diagnosed by both history and physical examination and it is important to see your doctor if you suspect this condition. The diagnosis is confirmed by the presence of significant spinal cord compression as demonstrated by an MRI or CT myelogram.


Surgical decompression of the spinal cord is the best treatment for most cases of symptomatic myelopathy. It can be accomplished from either the front or the back of the spine, depending on the particular patient's situation. Treatment options include a motion-preservation laminaplasty, a laminectomy and fusion, or an anterior decompression and fusion. Commonly, a fusion procedure is performed concurrently, which minimizes the development of deformity and preserves the desired spinal alignment.