When a physician suspects that you have myelopathy, a condition caused by a loss of spinal cord activity, you will need to see a spine surgeon with experience. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained spine surgeon, Dr. Kendall Carll, is well respected in the greater DFW area for the care of spinal issues. Myelopathy can stem from a condition you were born with (congenital stenosis), an injury, compression of the spinal cord, or brain trauma. The symptoms of myelopathy are very physiologically widespread and diverse; therefore, the condition is commonly misdiagnosed as other types of neurological disorders. While this condition can be painless at the site of spinal cord compression (usually in the neck), finding the source of the true problem can be difficult. Dr. Carll and his medical staff are equipped to diagnose nerve disorders originating in the spine and will develop treatment solutions that will keep patients active and mobile.
"I recently experienced a pinched nerve that severely affected my ability to use my right hand. I contacted Dr. Carll who immediately went to work on my behalf. Knowing that this was a time sensitive situation Dr. Carll went out of his way to ensure that I received the appropriate MRIs, CAT scans, and nerve studies to properly diagnose my situation. After reviewing all the test Dr. Carll exhibited true professionalism and integrity by referring me out to Dr. Patty Young (I am so thankful for your referral) who specialized in the surgery that I would need. Dr. Carll could’ve chosen to operate because I had several degenerative disc, however he chose ethics over profit. Dr. Carll is a true professional that will put your health over profit! When it comes to your health there’s nothing more important than having a doctor that you can trust to be professional and ethical. Thank you Dr. Carll for providing me with both!"- K.H. / Google / Aug 29, 2018
"Dr. Carll is THE BEST!!! I had to have an A-lift spinal fusion and never before have I seen such a caring doctor and staff. They held my hand through my fears were actually there for me and more throughout the process. I don't believe there is a more caring, more compassionate doctor than Dr. Carll. Thanks to him and his amazing abilities I can feel my right leg again and now live without pain. I will forever be grateful to this office and Dr. Carll for being there for me as a person and as a patient.-Nicole Baucum"- Anonymous / Healthgrades / May 17, 2019
"Excellent care - Very compassionate doctor! Truly cares about your pain and issues."- Anonymous / Vitals / Feb 12, 2019
"Excellent Care!! - I had put off my 360 Spinal Fusion for over a decade, relying on epidurals to deal with the pain. After doing two years of thorough research, I chose Dr. Kendall Carll at the Spine Care of North Texas. Being that I’m in the medical industry, I did ask around, too.From the initial consultation, all staff involved were very supportive and explained all aspects of the procedure; including what I could expect during and after the procedure. Because I never really experienced “excruciating” pain, I stopped taking all pain meds three days after the procedure. I was up and walking the day of the procedure and followed all directives. I was up several times a day walking and learning how to use steps; since I my place is two levels.The staff did a great job setting up my home health care; which included a nurse and a physical therapist. They, too, did an outstanding job. A large part of my job involves air travel. I felt so “good” I reached out to see if I was ok to travel. I followed all restrictions, primarily lifting, and was able to take a two-hour flight. This is amazing considering it was only 23 days post-surgery.If you’re like me and will use insurance, be sure to do the match; to make sure your rehab will be completed by the end of the year.“I am 100% satisfied with my experience with Spine Care of North Texas. Every single person on staff was terrific, and the system worked flawlessly. I now refer all my friends and family to them."- Anonymous / Vitals / Feb 04, 2019
"From the initial consultation, all staff involved were very supportive and explained all aspects of the procedure; including what I could expect during and after the procedure. Because I never really experienced “excruciating” pain, I stopped taking all pain meds three days after the procedure. I was up and walking the day of the procedure and followed all directives. I was up several times a day walking and learning how to use steps; since I my place is two levels. They are the best!!!"- E.E. / Healthgrades / Feb 04, 2019
A common cause of myelopathy is a degenerative spinal condition, like spinal stenosis, which can narrow the bony passageways, subsequently placing pressure where the spinal cord and nerve roots travel. Some of the other common causes of myelopathy are:
- Central disc herniations, which can also result in the compression of the spinal cord
- Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis in the spine
- Hernias, cysts, hematomas, spinal tumors, or bone cancer
- Spinal injury, spinal infection, or neurological disorders
- Trauma from repeated injuries to the neck area or a one-time fall or accident
The spinal cord transmits neurological signals from the brain to the rest of the body. When the spinal cord is injured, the patient will experience symptoms ranging from numbness or a feeling of “pins and needles” in the arms or legs to an inability to coordinate movement of the hands and legs. The condition can also generate a sudden onset of pain in the spine or legs, as well as problems with bowel or bladder control, even difficulty with walking. Patients commonly report the following symptoms:
- Pain in the lower back, upper back, or neck
- Weakness, tingling, and/or numbness
- Sudden loss of fine motor skills
- Abnormal response of the reflexes
- Difficulty walking
- Abrupt lack of coordination
Dr. Carll will exercise extraordinary precaution and rely on comprehensive diagnostics to ensure the proper diagnosis is established with diagnostic imaging and physical examination. Often, myelopathy is the secondary result of another underlying condition. For this reason, Dr. Carll may suggest a diagnosis that includes the terms “with” or “without” myelopathy. This refers to whether your spinal cord has been impacted by the condition. After your diagnostic testing and imaging are complete, Dr. Carll will sit down with you in a private treatment room to discuss your options. Be prepared for him to suggest surgical and nonsurgical interventions.
The nonsurgical interventions for myelopathy include physical therapy, over-the-counter medications to reduce the pain associated with myelopathy, and localized injections that target the affected area of the spine. If nonsurgical remedies are not sufficient at alleviating pain, then more invasive forms of treatment may need to be considered.
A common surgical solution for myelopathy would be minimally invasive surgery to relieve any compression on the spinal cord. With this type of procedure, Dr. Carll might shave bone from the vertebra that could be placing pressure on the spinal cord or remove a disc that bulged and is pressing on the spine. If the vertebra has slipped out of place due to facet defects, it can be repositioned, and screws and brackets can be inserted to fuse the spinal vertebrae in place.
Make Myelopathy Manageable
Board-certified spine surgeon Dr. Carll is passionate about providing his patients with immediate and long-term relief from myelopathy. After performing a thorough exam using the latest diagnostic technologies, he will develop a treatment plan that addresses your condition. If you have numbness or weakness in your arms or legs that you believe may be caused by a spinal defect, call Spine Care of North Texas to schedule your appointment today. Our team is ready to help you take back your life and your mobility.