Spine Cervical

My best friend had a disc replacement in her neck and she hasn't stopped raving about all the things she can do now that she couldn't do before. She is just sure that I should have the same thing done for my neck arthritis. Can anyone have this operation?

Artificial disc replacement (ADR) is relatively new. In June 2004, the first ADR for the lumbar spine (low back) was approved by the FDA for use in the US. Replacing a damaged disc in the cervical spine (neck) is a bit trickier. The disc is part of a complex joint in the spine. Making a replacement disc that works and that will last is not an easy task.




Don't Rely on Signs of Cord Compression to Make the Diagnosis

Cervical myelopathy doesn't always present with obvious signs and symptoms. Sometimes people have this condition and don't even know it. Cervical myelopathy is a degenerative condition that occurs with aging. Adults affected most often are 50 years old and older. The term myelopathy refers to any problem that affects the spinal cord, but especially compression of the spinal cord. Cervical tells us the area affected is the cervical spine (neck region).




I read my doctor's report on me and it said clinical diagnosis of cervical myelopathy. Order MRI to make the differential diagnosis. Can you please interpret this for me?

Your physician will probably go over the results of your tests and answer any questions you may have. We can give you a little bit of information, to help you prepare for that meeting. Cervical myelopathy is a degenerative condition that occurs with aging. Adults affected most often are 50 years old and older. The term myelopathy refers to any problem that affects the spinal cord, but especially compression of the spinal cord.




How is it possible to have pressure on my spinal cord but not have any signs that there's a problem? I had an MRI for another problem and they found significant cord compression in my neck. But I don't have any pain or neurologic problems so far.

It appears that there are many conditions people can have that don't present with any particular signs or symptoms. It's not until they have an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI for something else that the problem shows up.

This tells doctors not to rely just on the results of clinical tests. A recent study confirmed this is true for cervical myelopathy. Cervical myelopathy is the technical term for spinal cord compression in the neck (cervical spine).




Have you ever heard of an oblique corpectomy? What is it and how does it help with neck pain?

Corpectomy refers to the partial or complete removal of a vertebra. The vertebrae are the bones in the spine. Removing the bone may be necessary when there's been a collapse of the bone or loss of structural integrity that is affecting the spinal cord.




My best friend is someone who makes a mountain out of every molehill. Every situation becomes a major catastrophe. These days it’s how she can't do anything because she has a whiplash injury. That car accident was months ago. How can I help her move on and get back to regular life?

Chronic pain and disability from a whiplash injury is still the most common injury after a car accident or other similar (often sports) accident. Whiplash occurs when the head and neck extend backward and then flex forward in a rapid transfer of energy to the neck. Persistent neck pain, arm pain, headache, and other symptoms following such an accident have been labeled whiplash-associated disorder (WAD).




I went with Mother to her surgery appointment this morning. The surgeon said her neck was unstable and she has myelopathy. That's why they would have to do a fusion. Just exactly what does unstable mean? Is she in any danger with this problem? We just thought she had some neck arthritis and that's why her neck hurts so much.

Cervical spine instability usually means that one vertebral body slides too far forward over the vertebra below it. The degree of instability depends on how far the bone moves. This movement can be measured in actual distance (usually in metric units of millimeters). Or it can be expressed as a percentage based on its location over the vertebra below it. For example, a spinal segment that has slipped forward 25 per cent over the vertebra below it is a Grade I instability.




I had a car accident in which I was rear-ended. The driver's insurance company is trying to get out of paying for my medical bills because I wasn't wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. Is it possible I could have developed this chronic pain condition after the accident even if I had been wearing a seatbelt?

Whiplash injuries occur when the head and neck extend backward and then flex forward in a rapid transfer of energy to the neck. Persistent neck pain, arm pain, headache, and other symptoms following such an accident have been labeled whiplash-associated disorder (WAD). WAD occur most often after rear-end or side-impact collisions.




Prognosis Following Whiplash Injury

Chronic pain and disability from a whiplash injury is still the most common injury after a car accident or other similar (often sports) accident. Whiplash occurs when the head and neck extend backward and then flex forward in a rapid transfer of energy to the neck. Persistent neck pain, arm pain, headache, and other symptoms following such an accident have been labeled whiplash-associated disorder (WAD).




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