What is the presentation of cervical myelopathy in cervical spondylosis?

Updated: Apr 23, 2020
  • Author: Hassan Ahmad Hassan Al-Shatoury, MD, PhD, MHPE; Chief Editor: Dean H Hommer, MD  more...
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Cervical myelopathy

  • Cervical spondylotic myelopathy is the most serious consequence of cervical intervertebral disk degeneration, especially when it is associated with a narrow cervical vertebral canal. (See image below)

    A 59-year-old woman presented with a spastic gait A 59-year-old woman presented with a spastic gait and weakness in her upper extremities. A T2-weighted sagittal magnetic resonance imaging scan shows cord compression from cervical spondylosis, which caused central spondylotic myelopathy. Note the signal changes in the cord at C4-C5, the ventral osteophytosis, buckling of the ligamentum flavum at C3-C4, and the prominent loss of disk height between C2 and C5.
  • Cervical myelopathy has an insidious onset, which typically becomes apparent in persons aged 50-60 years. Complete reversal is rare once myelopathy occurs.

  • Involvement of the sphincters is unusual at presentation, as based on the patient's perception of symptoms.

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