Are you living with cervical spinal stenosis?
If you want to learn more about your condition, such as cervical spinal stenosis disability rating, what things to avoid with cervical spinal stenosis, or if you’re interested in learning about the stages of cervical spinal stenosis, this article is for you.
Here, we discuss the different stages of cervical spinal stenosis, and what happens in each stage.
Stages of Cervical Spinal Stenosis
Initial evaluation of a patient with cervical spinal stenosis typically begins with a detailed history of symptoms and physical exam, with a focus on motor strength, sensation, reflexes, and gait.
Cervical stenosis doesn’t necessarily cause symptoms (or the signs may be subtle in the early stages), but if symptoms are present they will mainly be caused by associated cervical radiculopathy or cervical myelopathy.
Cervical spinal stenosis can lead to radicular symptoms due to nerve root compression and myelopathy due to spinal cord compression, radicular symptoms are dependent on the level affected (ie. a C5-6 disk herniation leads to C6 radiculopathy.
- C4-5 disk herniation can lead to deltoid weakness and shoulder paresthesia. Patients also can experience pain and paresthesia in the head, neck, and shoulder.
- C6-7 disk herniation is the most common, leading to a wrist drop and paresthesia in the 2 and three fingers.
- C5-6 disk herniation is the next common, resulting in weakness in forearm flexion and paresthesia in the thumb and radial forearm.
- C7-T1 disk herniation can lead to weakness in the hand intrinsic muscles and numbness in the 4 and five digits.
The progression of symptoms may also vary in the following ways:
- A slow and steady decline
- Progression to a certain point and stabilizing
- Rapidly declining
If you’re concerned that your condition may be worsening, consult your doctor.
Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All information contained on this website is for general information purposes only.