Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy (CSM)
Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy is a condition where the spinal cord is compressed due to wear and tear as a person ages.
Also known as Spinal Cord Compression, Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy (CSM) is one of the most common neck problems that can occur with age. As a person ages, the normal wear-and-tear that affects their spine can narrow the spinal canal, which compresses the spinal cord, causing pain and discomfort. Herniated disks and bone spurs are two causes of CSM.
CSM typically affects people over the age of 50, but CSM can occur in younger patients if there was a spinal cord injury earlier in life.
Symptoms of CSM include:
To diagnose CSM, your doctor will take your medical history and perform a thorough physical evaluation. During the evaluation, your doctor is looking for numbness, weakness, atrophy and abnormal reflexes. Your doctor may also have you get an x-ray, MRI scan or myelogram (a specialized type of CT scan).
There are a few nonsurgical treatment options for CSM, including:
Surgery to treat CSM is used to open the space for the spinal cord. There are different surgical options depending on factors like the severity of your CSM and its location on your spinal cord.