What Is the Surgery for Degenerative Myelopathy?

Medically Reviewed by NJ Spine & Orthopedic on June 14, 2024

Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive spinal cord disease that primarily affects the lower back and spine. This condition can lead to severe pain, muscle weakness, and loss of mobility, significantly impacting one’s quality of life. The main treatment for advanced degenerative myelopathy is surgery, which aims to alleviate symptoms and prevent further deterioration. Understanding the surgery for degenerative myelopathy is crucial for those considering this option to manage their condition effectively.

NJ Spine is dedicated to offering the best surgical options for patients suffering from degenerative myelopathy. Our team provides personalized treatment plans to help manage symptoms and improve overall well-being. If you or a loved one is dealing with this condition, NJ Spine is here to guide you through your options and provide top-notch care.

Understanding Degenerative Myelopathy

Degenerative myelopathy is a disorder that results from the gradual degeneration of the spinal cord. It often starts with mild symptoms such as back pain and progresses to more severe issues like muscle weakness and loss of coordination. The exact cause of degenerative myelopathy is still unknown, but it is believed to be related to genetic factors and age-related wear and tear on the spine.

Patients with degenerative myelopathy may initially experience difficulty walking, numbness, or tingling in the limbs. As the condition worsens, these symptoms can lead to significant mobility issues, making daily activities challenging. Diagnosing degenerative myelopathy typically involves a combination of physical examinations, imaging tests such as MRI or CT scans, and sometimes genetic testing to rule out other potential causes.

Early intervention is essential in managing degenerative myelopathy. Non-surgical treatments like physical therapy, medications, and lifestyle changes can help manage symptoms in the early stages. However, when these treatments are no longer effective, surgery becomes a crucial option to consider.

Types of Surgeries for Degenerative Myelopathy

Several surgical options are available for treating degenerative myelopathy, each targeting different aspects of the condition. The choice of surgery depends on the severity of the disease, the specific area of the spine affected, and the overall health of the patient. Here are some common surgical procedures used to treat degenerative myelopathy:

  1. Decompression Surgery: This procedure involves removing portions of bone or tissue that are compressing the spinal cord or nerves. By relieving this pressure, decompression surgery can reduce pain and improve mobility.
  2. Spinal Fusion: In cases where spinal instability is a concern, spinal fusion may be recommended. This surgery involves fusing two or more vertebrae together to stabilize the spine and prevent further damage. 
  3. Disc Replacement: For patients with significant disc degeneration, disc replacement surgery can be an option. This procedure involves replacing the damaged disc with an artificial one, helping to restore proper spinal alignment and function.

Each of these surgeries has its own set of benefits and risks. The decision on which procedure to undergo should be made in consultation with a qualified spine surgeon who can evaluate your specific case and recommend the most appropriate treatment.

Preparing for Surgery

Preparing for surgery for degenerative myelopathy involves several important steps to ensure the best possible outcome. Before the surgery, patients will undergo a thorough evaluation to assess their overall health and readiness for the procedure. This may include blood tests, imaging studies, and consultations with various specialists.

Patients will also receive detailed instructions on how to prepare for surgery. This can include guidelines on fasting, medications to avoid, and steps to take to ensure a smooth recovery. It’s crucial to follow these instructions closely to minimize risks and complications during and after the surgery.

Post-surgery recovery plans are also discussed during the preparation phase. Patients need to understand what to expect regarding pain management, physical therapy, and activity restrictions. Having a clear recovery plan helps set realistic expectations and prepare for a successful rehabilitation process.

Post-Surgery Recovery and Rehabilitation

Recovery from surgery for degenerative myelopathy varies depending on the type of procedure performed and the individual’s overall health. Generally, patients can expect to spend a few days in the hospital following surgery to ensure proper healing and to monitor for any complications.

Physical therapy plays a critical role in post-surgery recovery. A tailored rehabilitation program helps patients regain strength, improve mobility, and return to their daily activities as quickly as possible. Adhering to the recommended physical therapy regimen is essential for achieving the best possible outcome.

Patients may also need to make lifestyle adjustments to support their recovery. This can include changes in diet, exercise routines, and ergonomic modifications to their home and work environments. Ongoing follow-up appointments with the spine surgeon are important to monitor progress and address any concerns that may arise during the recovery period.

Is NJ Spine & Orthopedic Right for Your Treatment?

At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, we are committed to providing top-quality care for patients suffering from degenerative myelopathy. Our team of experienced spine surgeons utilizes the latest techniques and technologies to deliver the best outcomes for our patients. We understand the challenges that come with spinal conditions and strive to offer compassionate and effective treatment options.

If you or a loved one is considering surgery for degenerative myelopathy, NJ Spine & Orthopedic is here to help. Our concierge team can assist with travel arrangements and accommodations, making the process as smooth as possible. Contact us today at (866) 553-0612 or visit our contact form to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you regain your quality of life.

Related Blog Posts

Benefits of Acupuncture for Back Pain

Back pain is a common issue that affects millions of people worldwide. Many individuals struggle with chronic discomfort that impacts their daily lives and overall well-being. One of the alternative treatments gaining …

Botox for Migraines: How It Works and Who It Benefits

Migraines can be debilitating, affecting one’s ability to work, enjoy leisure activities, and maintain overall quality of life. For those who suffer from chronic migraines, the search for effective relief is often …

LETS GET IN CONTACT

For immediate assistance, please call 855.586.2615
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
CONDITION CHECKER →