Biomechanics of Spondylotic Cervical Myelopathy
Spondylotic cervical myelopahty (SCM) is caused by a compromised spinal canal, leaving less than the necessary space for the cord to function. A certain minimum space is needed, both in neutral position and during physiological movements of the spine, for proper function of the spinal cord. The compromise in the spinal canal size may be partially developmental or primarily due to disk degeneration and osteophytic formations. A narrowed spinal canal may produce mechanical pressure on the spinal cord at one or more levels. The pressure may cause direct neurological damage or produce ischemic changes secondary to canal compromise, which in turn may lead to spinal dysfunction. Physiological movements of the spinal column may further reduce the functional size of the canal. In extension of the spinal column, the canal length decreases, thus increasing the cord’s cross-sectional area.
KeywordsSpinal Cord Spinal Canal Dura Mater Spinal Column Stress Pattern
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