Why is spinal cord compression an emergency?

What happens if spinal cord compression is left untreated?

Compression of these nervous system structures leads to the previously mentioned symptoms – namely pain, weakness, numbness, difficulty walking, and bowel and bladder dysfunction – which become progressively worse over time. If left untreated, cervical myelopathy can progress to paraplegia (inability to use the legs).

Does spinal cord compression affect the brain?

For some, it leads to compression of the spinal cord which can cause problems with dexterity, numbness in the hands, and the ability to walk. New research looks beyond the spinal cord injury in these patients, and found they also experience changes in the motor cortex of the brain.

Will I end up in a wheelchair with spinal stenosis?

The symptoms are often so gradual, that patients seek medical attention very late in the course of this condition. Patients may be so disabled and weak that they require the use of a wheelchair for mobility. In rare instances, severe spinal stenosis can cause paraplegia and/or bowel/bladder incontinence.

How do you tell if lower back pain is muscle or disc?

The lower back and neck are the most flexible parts of your spine, and they’re also where most herniated discs occur. While pain in your mid-back may be related to a disc, it’s more likely caused by muscle strain or other issues. Your symptoms feel worse when you bend or straighten up from a bent position.

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How does spinal cord compression?

Spinal cord compression occurs when a mass places pressure on the cord. A mass can include a tumor or bone fragment. Compression can develop anywhere along the spinal cord from the neck to the lower spine.

Can spinal cord compression heal itself?

Spinal cord damage can heal by itself but there is no way to determine the degree of healing. We do know that the longer the compression the higher the risk of permanent damage.