It is a condition where your cartilage and bones wear down because of age thus resulting into abnormal spinal function, This condition is also referred to as cervical osteoarthritis and it usually strikes individual over forty years old. Cervical spondylosis can be with myelopathy or without myelopathy or radiculopathy.
What is Myelopathy? When bone overgrowth or spurs as a result of cervical spondylosis lessens the size of the canal around the spinal cord this is known as cervical spondylosis. On the other hand when cervical spondylosis compressed the nerve that is from the cervical bone this refers to cervical radiculopathy or what is known as cervical spondylosis without myelopathy.
Symptoms for cervical spondylosis without myelopathy includes neck stiffness and pain; tingling, weakness, numbness or pain in your hands, chest, arms and shoulders; abnormal reflexes, lack of coordination; and loss of bowel and bladder control.
Treatment usually includes over the counter pain medications and anti-inflammatory medicines, muscle relaxants, corticosteroid injections, rest, physical therapy, back braces and even hospitalization with traction to immobilize the neck. Prognosis of patients undergoing non-operative treatment is excellent. In fact about eighty to ninety percent of patients reports improvement however symptoms may recur to about 1/3 of patients (Orthopaedia).
If all other conventional method of treatment fails and your pain gets worst then surgery might be the only option left although studies have shown mixed results when it comes to its effectiveness. There are two studies though that shows significant improvement in pain and weakness. In fact around seventy-five percent of surgically treated patients have experience improvement in pain.
Just like any major operations, complications do arise like spinal cord injury, nerve root injury, device failure, esophageal perforation, vertebral artery injury and wound infection. So if surgery is your only option then better discuss it thoroughly with your doctor and get all the information you need for you to make the right decision.