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can someone please explain this

tammycttammyc Posts: 894
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:26 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Ok people i know some of you know the answer to this question.Listen up!! ;) What exactly is mylopathy? and how does it affect your normal functioning? The last time i was at the surgeons office for a check up from my car accident i had a different surgeon,a fellow ,when he was done examining me he told me that my mylopathy was still severe. I thought ok well its the same as it was the last time i was here. :))( He said that there just symptoms and i still had time for it to change for the better.But what difference does it make if there just symptoms,how would that affect me if i didn't have reflexes in my arm or leg?Inquiring minds want to know!! =)) I understand the balance issue can really affect everything that i am capable of doing but what about muscle spasms and numbness and reflexes.If i can function what difference does it make ,what's the big deal. :? They make me worry because of the looks on there faces when they examine me.How do they determine that a surgery is a success? I would have to say mine was a success but they seem to be stuck on the mylopathy.


  • Hey Tammy,
    myelopathy just means any pathological condition of the spinal cord...yep, I am writing that right out of the medical dictionary that I own. So, your doctors aren't saying much except that your condition is still bad without giving you much detail. If you say that your surgery was a success and feel better, that is what matters..

    Remember, they want perfection, and hope to erase all your problems rather than settle for "functionable" you know; plus, most people want perfect outcomes.
  • I was running into walls. Feeling like I was falling out of chairs. Dropping things. Why do they think you're still having symptoms isn't worrisome? I would definitely be concerned if they happened or continued to happen after surgery. I only considered my surgery a success when I stopped feeling like I was falling out of chairs and running into walls.
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  • well i guess because since my surgery my symptoms are so much better then they were before the surgery.I still do have some balance issues but i see that its getting better and hopefully will resolve.as for alot of my other issues they seems to be getting better as well.I was in such bad shape before the surgery and have made a huge improvement,i'm just concerned that if there saying that i still have severe mylopathy that it will keep me from getting alot better.I'm not sure why my surgeon hasn't really expressed his concerns about it except that maybe he doesn't want to give me any negatives hoping that only positive assurances will help me to get farther in rehab,i know once his fellow told me of the severity of the mylopathy its been on my mind.
  • Hey Tammy,
    Found this link that may help you out to understand what the doc was speaking of. It is so important to keep a positive attitude when recovering from myelopathy as they just don't know how far you can go. Maybe this doctor didn't know how bad you were before surgery and the progress you have made. Keep up with the therapy and in time maybe it will all be gone.
  • thanks for the link i do remember reading that a long time ago.Unfortunately i do have a lot of those symptoms but since my surgery they have gotten better,or i thought they have LOL.Ok so in plain english ,is Mylopathy symptoms a person has caused by damage to the spinal cord nerves? basically spinal cord damage.The last time i talked to my surgeon he told me i could still see progress 18mths to 2years after my surgery so i guess i have a while still for healing.
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  • thanks tamtam,
    i'm trying i just hate going to the doctors apt. because i'll think that i'm doing so much better and then they examine me and start bringing up all these problems that i'm not really noticing,then i start thinking ok is this really important,should i be paying attention to it or are they just being picky.Do i really have control over any of these stupid symptoms anyways. :? probably not.all i can do is continue my exercises and do what i'm supposed to every day and see how far it gets me in the end right!!! ;)
  • It is good to see you, but not good that you are still having issues.

    Someone please correct me if I am wrong here, but I thought myelopathy is actually damage to your cord, not the nerves. Often by doing surgery for stenosis to open up the width of the cord it will stop the progression of the myelopathy, but there is really no cure. Symptoms may or may not improve, but once you have this kind of damage to your cord, i think you will always have some symptoms.

    I found this definition of myelopathy.
    Spinal cord injury causes myelopathy or damage to white matter or myelinated fiber tracts that carry sensation and motor signals to and from the brain.

    I think what the doctor is referencing to on the 18-24 month time of period is for nerve regeneration, because you likely had some nerve compression. When those nerves were decompressed, this allows them to begin healing, which can take up to 24 months.

    Did you have any answers on the worsening of your neck pain after the auto accident?

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Cindy,
    You are correct in your deffinition of myelopathy. This link may help


    My symptoms have not improved at this time, but they have not gotten worse. The numbness in my left arm/fingers may get better, that is most likely nerve damage and the OS and NS said it can take upwards of 3 years for that to improve.
  • After my accident I thought I needed some stitches in my arm and then doctors start coming around talking about cord impingement and surgery and I'm like "HOLD ON". Then I got home and in the following days started with all of my myelopathy symptoms. Now they really are encouraging me to have surgery. And this doctor is hitting me in the knee and I notice it doesn't have any reflex in it. I wouldn't have hit myself in the knee at home to check for reflexes. That's what they do. They look at things we'd never consider a "symptom". I hope you can get over this quickly. You've been through enough. Hit and Run Oh Lord! I feel so bad for you! My semi couldn't get away. :D
  • tammy damage to the cord. They really can't tell if your symptoms are going to get better. The purpose of the surgery is to stop the progression of the mylopathy. Often time symptoms do improve over time and there is just noway of knowing how much they will. Keep up the therapy and the positive outlook and who knows they may disappear or become not so noticeable. I always like to say the surgeon can only get us so far then it up to us for the rest.
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