How to Say It: SIR-veh-cal My-eh-LOP-ah-thee
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Cervical myelopathy is damage to the part of the spinal cord that is in the neck. The cervical spine begins at the base of the skull. It extends to the first seven vertebrae.
This problem may be caused by:
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Problems may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on any muscle weakness. A neurological exam may also be done.
Images may be taken of the spine. This can be done with:
Other tests may be:
The cause will need to be treated. Symptoms may be managed with:
Some people may need surgery to ease pressure on the spinal cord. Choices are:
There are no known guidelines to prevent this health problem.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
United Spinal Association
Canadian/American Spinal Research Organizations
Altaf F, Heran MK, et al. Back pain in children and adolescents. Bone Joint J. 2014 Jun;96-B(6):717-723.
Cervical myelopathy. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/adult/orthopaedic_disorders/CervicalMyelopathy_22,CervicalMyelopathy. Accessed January 26, 2021.
Lumbar spondylolysis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/lumbar-spondylolysis. Accessed January 26, 2021.
Older adult falls. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
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Accessed January 26, 2021.
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 1/26/2021