Cervical Myelopathy

(Myelopathy, Cervical)


Cervical myelopathy is damage to the part of the spinal cord that is in the neck. The cervical spine begins at the base of the skull. It extends to the first seven vertebrae.
Cervical Spine
Cervical Spine
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Cervical myelopathy is caused by:

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your risk of cervical myelopathy include:
  • Infections
  • Ischemia—restriction of blood supply
  • Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica; or other conditions, such as vascular disease or degenerative disease
  • History of bone or back problems
  • Being born with a narrow spinal canal
  • Job or sport involving regular stretching and straining of spine
  • History of cancer involving the bones


Symptoms may include:
  • Pain in the shoulder and arms
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms and legs
  • Trouble walking or balancing
  • Muscle weakness
  • Problems flexing the neck
  • Lightheadedness
  • Problems with fine motor control, such as buttoning a shirt
  • Irregular movements
  • Bowel or bladder problems
  • Weakness below the waist or in all 4 limbs

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