Myelomalacia and myelopathy are spinal conditions that affect the spinal cord and can lead to a range of neurological symptoms.
Myelomalacia is a condition where the spinal cord tissue begins to soften and degenerate due to a lack of blood flow or damage to the tissue. This can be caused by a spinal injury, infection, or other medical conditions such as spinal stenosis or herniated discs. Symptoms of myelomalacia can include pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms or legs, as well as bladder or bowel dysfunction.
Myelopathy is a condition where there is damage or dysfunction of the spinal cord that can be caused by compression or inflammation”explains Orthopedic Surgeon Rolando Garcia, M.D.
This can be caused by a variety of factors, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, tumors, or infections. Symptoms of myelopathy can include pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms or legs, as well as difficulty with balance or coordination.
Treatment for myelomalacia and myelopathy typically involves a combination of conservative measures such as pain management, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes (such as exercise and weight loss). In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the underlying condition causing the spinal cord damage or to relieve pressure on the spinal cord.
Examples of when surgery may be necessary to treat myelomalacia and myelopathy include:
- Discectomy: If a herniated disc is causing compression of the spinal cord, a discectomy may be performed to remove the portion of the disc that is compressing the cord.
- Laminectomy: If spinal stenosis is causing compression of the spinal cord, a laminectomy may be performed to remove the portion of the vertebra that is compressing the cord.
- Spinal Fusion: In some cases, spinal fusion may be necessary to stabilize the spine and prevent further damage to the spinal cord.
It is important to work with a medical professional to develop a comprehensive treatment plan based on individual needs and symptoms. With proper management and treatment, most individuals with myelomalacia and myelopathy can achieve significant pain relief and improve their quality of life.Please check our two locations. For all scheduling questions or for appointments, call 305.937.1999