Age-related changes in the cervical spine may lead to a narrowing of the spinal canal (cervical spine stenosis) with compression of the spinal cord (orange oval in the image).
The symptoms are more varied and localised to the arms as well as the legs. Our patient has had cervical spine problems for many years and repeatedly suffered from neck, arm and shoulder pain. However, he only recently became very worried when his friends asked him why he was always walking around as if he were "drunk"; the sensitivity in his fingers was also getting worse.
A thorough MRI examination of the cervical spine shows that the cause of the problem is an increased narrowing of the spinal canal due to degenerative changes of the intervertebral discs and adjacent structures (osteochondrosis, spondylarthrosis) in the lower cervical spine, whereby the spinal cord and associated nerves are being compressed and damaged (cervical spondylotic myelopathy).
The solution for the treatment of neurological deficits caused by this example of cervical spine canal stenosis at the C5-C7 level is the removal of bony parts of the vertebral arches (laminectomy). With this technique, necessary space for the spinal cord and nerves is created. Subsequently, the affected vertebral bodies are stabilised with small titanium screws and rods. In this way, “slippage” or displacement of the vertebrae is prevented and the condition for bony healing is ensured.
The spinal cord and affected nerves are no longer impaired. Improved blood circulation of the nerve tissue is again possible, so that the patient’s discomfort subsides and disease progression can be prevented.