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Myelomalacia - Progressive??

IthicaIIthica Posts: 18
edited 04/14/2015 - 4:30 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello All -

I had surgery March 9 - ACDF C5,C6,C7 for a diagnosis of Myelomalacia. I still do not have a completely clear understanding of "Myelomalacia" and it may be that no one really does at this stage in medicine.

From what I understand it is a "softening" of the spinal cord that is progressive if left untreated. When they say "progressive", I understand that the levels that are currently affected will get worse over time if surgery is not performed. The symptoms may not improve post surgery but surgery will prevent the progression of the symptoms.

But is this a condition that is "progressive" meaning that other levels of the spine will eventually soften? For example my thoracic spine will soften and I will need surgery to correct the level affected in the thoracic spine?

FYI - I am still experiencing some of the symptoms post surgery that were there pre-surgery which I understand. Although I have been seeing improvements in some of these areas (KOW). My gait is improving, although I had a fall last week and a near fall yesterday. I still have some dexterity problems in my left fingers so typing is problematic (eg. I may have to use my right hand more, i mistype or there are times I have to stop for a few minutes to come back to complete the typing).`I have occasional uncontrolled movements of my left leg, and my left leg is still significantly weaker than the right, but I can bend at the knee and have a slight limp where before surgery the limp was more significant. So the surgery was performed so these symptoms would not progress (and with a little luck see some improvement).

But back to the main - is Myelomalacia progressive in that other level of the spine will become affected over time.
Thank You


  • TWynnBTTWynnB Posts: 265
    edited 04/16/2015 - 2:34 PM
    From what I've read (because I've had a contusion (myelomalacia) on the MRI as well), is that the prognosis for recovery is *not* worse, unless it is a hypointensity on a T1, unlike a hyperintensity on a T2 that most people write about. From what I've seen, it is very, very rare to become progressive, like it does in dogs. In fact, a large percentage of people, when having a follow up MRI, the lesion is resolved.
    I would just look at your progress, and try not to focus on the word myelomalacia. You have just had a major invasive surgery with a doc peering at your spinal cord. It sounds like you're having decent progress for only being over 5 weeks out!

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

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