Medical Conditions | Uncategorized

Cervical myelopathy

Damage to the spinal grey matter in the neck by narrowing of the vertebral canal caused by arthrosis (wear) of the vertebrae, leading to thickening and protrusions. Neck movement continually damages the spinal grey matter. This condition occurs particularly in older people, who suffer from slight loss of feeling and strength in the fingers, with pain radiating to the arms, caused by pressure on the local nerves in the spine. Damage to other areas of the spinal grey matter affects different parts of the body: there may be diminished feeling in the legs, with resultant stiffness and uncertainty in walking, or impotence and urinary problems. The severity of the disorder can vary greatly. Narrowing can be established by spinal X-ray and contrast medium pictures, showing that cerebral fluid cannot pass freely. This examination also eliminates other possible causes such as a tumour or slipped disc. Treatment is by surgery to widen the vertebral canal. Test to seek abnormalities, visible under the miscroscope, in cells coming from the area around the cervix. A smear using the Papanicolaou method (the Pap smear) is used as a test to detect cervical cancer at an early stage. Cells and mucus are scraped from the cervix with a spatula, smeared on to a microscope slide and then fixed with fluid. The slide is then sent for examination. No smears can be taken during menstruation. There are five classes of smear: in class I, the cells look completely normal; in class V, cancer cells are present. When smears are categorized as class III, this means that although some abnormalities are present in the cells, it is not possible to tell whether they are malignant or not. The abnormalities are often the consequence of an infection of the area examined. After a possible infection has been treated, another smear is taken after a few months. Often the abnormalities disappear along with the symptoms of inflammation and the smear is once again entirely normal. A smear is often taken in connection with population studies. It is not yet entirely clear whether such surveys are

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