Signs and treatment of spinal cord compression

Spinal cord compression is one of severe neurological diseases of the spine, which causes compression of the spinal column.

The reasons for this may be great variety, and treatment is often just random. Forecast depends entirely on what has become a provoking factor and how quickly assistance was provided.

Reasons for the compression can be a lot and some of them can be detected only after research.


Among the main precipitating factors should be called:

  1. Herniated discs are a great size.
  2. Offset disks.
  3. Prolapsed discs.
  4. Back injuries that damage the spinal cord or to its swelling.
  5. Abscess in the epidural space.
  6. Tumors, both within vertebrae and outside.
  7. Metastases of the primary cancer.

There are several types of this disease, which will depend on the reasons. For acute form is injuries a comminuted character, compression fractures with displacement or epidural hematoma.

For subacute is tumors and metastases, abscesses and hematomas, damage to the disks between the vertebrae.

Both conditions can develop in just a few hours.

But there are the third type is chronic, which is formed slowly, and sometimes this process takes several years. This should include causes such as protrusions and hernias, malformation of blood vessels of a primary tumor.

How does

Spinal cord compression may develop in any part of the back, including cervical. Thus there is not only compression of the nerve root, but also vessel, which is nearby. This causes either radicular syndrome or infarction of the spinal cord.

The first symptom that will complain patients pain. But it only appears if there is a compression of the nerve root responsible for pain impulses. If not, and suffers only the spinal cord, then pain will not.

The second important manifestation is paresthesia, i.e. numbness, feeling of pins and needles, and other unpleasant phenomena. If the neck is affected, you will suffer and upper limbs. If the violation in the lumbar, it will be affected foot.

A mandatory symptom should be considered as the onset of pain in palpation and tapping of the back. Myelopathies same symptoms will be expressed in the form of sensory, motor and reflex disorders.

It will be shown as:

  1. The absence of any sensitivity.
  2. Paraparesis.
  3. Tetraparesis.
  4. Muscle weakness.
  5. Impaired coordination.
  6. Atony of the bladder.
  7. Atony of the rectum.

One of the important manifestations should be considered as another symptom – when driving healthy limbs there is an involuntary repetition of movements in the arm or leg on the affected side.


For proper diagnosis you want to perform an MRI. If for some reason unavailable, then a suitable CT – myelography. This will show what was the cause of the lesion, at what level it happened, and what tactics should elect a doctor to relieve the patient from disease.

How to get rid of

Compression of the spinal cord in the thoracic region, as in all others, often treated with surgery. At the acute form of the current operation is required as soon as possible so the swelling that was caused by trauma, is not caused in the nervous tissue irreversible changes.

For anesthesia is most commonly used narcotic analgesics. Also used the treatment with corticosteroids, which helps to relieve swelling and inflammation.

But most of the compression happens because of the tumor. The signs in this case will be expressed very well.

Especially dangerous tumors that have secondary origin, i.e., are the metastases as well as those related to cancer. They grow very quickly, and thus the squeezing occurs in just a few months, and the patient may not be aware of it. The only treatment is removal of the tumor.

The main indications for surgery should be considered as the buildup of sensory or motor disorders, the instability of the spine, the presence of an abscess or hematoma.

If many foci of compression, radiation therapy is used, the same shown when contraindications to surgery, as well as the slow development of the process.

The forecast will entirely depend on the reasons why and how it was removed cause of compression and how quickly it was done.

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