If there is damage to the nerve tissue in the spinal column of the cervical or thoracic spine, this is known as myelopathy.
Constant pressure, for example where there is poor perfusion of the blood, intervertebral disc prolapse or tumours, leads to impairment or death of the nerve tissue. Since the central nervous cells in this area are unable to regenerate or reproduce, the consequences are permanent or may even worsen.
Patients complain of weakness, a feeling of numbness, loss of fine motor skills, bladder-emptying problems, balance problems and sexual dysfunction as well as stiffness of the muscles and, in the advanced stages, loss of tissue mass (atrophy) and breathing difficulties. MR images show changed zones in the spinal cord tissue. Often, we diagnose these signs during a neurological examination.
As well as conservative therapy, the causes can also be treated with microsurgery.