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Spinal cord compression overview

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2023 | blog, Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord compression is a common injury in Georgia. It can happen at any point along the spine or neck, and symptoms can occur gradually or suddenly.

Common signs of spinal cord compression

While every patient may not have every symptom when complaining of a spinal cord injury, people who think they may have spinal cord compression often suffer similar symptoms. People may have trouble walking or experience numbness in their legs and hands on both or one side of their body. Patients often walk with a limp. They may feel like the nerves in their hands or arms are on fire, and the pain spreads down their legs. People with spinal compression may have trouble doing small-muscle tasks.

Diagnosing spinal cord compression

Doctors usually start by giving patients a physical if they are looking for spinal cord compression. Then, they may send them to get magnetic resonance imaging or another type of imagery that will show their spine.

Causes of spinal cord compression

Many different things can cause spinal cord compression. For example, vertebrae in the spine may be broken or pushed out of place, connective tissue lining the spinal canal may swell, blood may pool around the spine or disks may become herniated or ruptured.

Treatment plan

Doctors usually prescribe corticosteroids to reduce pressure on the spine caused by swelling. In some cases, they may also prescribe radiation therapy or perform surgery.

Ages most at risk for spinal cord compression

People under the age of 20 often suffer from spinal cord compression. This may be due to their increased activity level. Furthermore, people over 50 are also at a higher risk. In many cases, that is because issues have developed over time.

Spinal cord compression can occur quickly or gradually in any place along the spine and the neck, so doctors must determine the exact issue before creating a treatment plan.