About Nerve Compression
When something nears the nerves in your neck and spinal cord and invades the space it shares, you could experience the pain of nerve compression. Dr. Kendall Carll is a board-certified and fellowship-trained spine surgeon who has treated quite a few spinal nerve compression cases in his more than 15 years of practice. Each of his facilities is equipped with technologies to diagnose nerve compression so that Dr. Carll can quickly implement a plan for you to regain your wellbeing.
The spinal cord is a tight strand of nerve tissue that carries electrical signals back and forth from your brain to your muscles. The spinal cord runs through and is protected by the spinal column, a chain of finely engineered bones that runs from your skull to the pelvic region. The spinal column creates a protective channel for the spinal cord, but its dynamic structure is also a major threat to the spinal cord as the bones and intervertebral discs in the spinal cord wear out over time. With no warning, sharp pain, weakness, and numbness can be felt when a nerve compression exists on the spine. Depending on the cause of the compression, symptoms may develop suddenly or gradually, and they may require anything from supportive care to emergency surgery.
Nerve Compression Reviews
"Dr. Carll did a fantastic job for me. I was having tons of pain in my arm caused by a pinched nerve in my C4 and C5. We did all the conservative treatments, but finally had to do surgery. The minute I woke up from surgery all the pain was gone and the scar left behind was minimal. He is easy to talk to and speaks layman terms. Only opportunity was the office staff. At times, I had to follow up a few times to get things completed."- Anonymous / Healthgrades / May 20, 2017
"I recently experienced a pinched nerve that severely affected my grip in my right hand. Dr Carll immediately went to work on my behalf. Dr Carll appropriately diagnosed my situation, referred me to an amazing doctor. Dr Carll could’ve chosen to operate, however he chose ethics over profit. Dr Carll is a true professional that will put your health over profit! There’s nothing more important than than having a doctor that you can trust to be professional and ethical. Dr Carll provides both!"- K. / Healthgrades / Aug 28, 2018
"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 did a fantastic job for me. I was having tons of pain in my arm caused by a pinched nerve in my C4 and C5. We did all the conservative treatments, but finally had to do surgery. The minute I woke up from surgery all the pain was gone and the scar left behind was minimal. He is easy to talk to and speaks layman terms. Only opportunity was the office staff. At times, I had to follow up a few times to get things completed."- P. / Healthgrades / May 20, 2017
One of the most common causes of spinal cord compression is the gradual wearing down of the cartilage and bones in the spine, a condition called osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis can stimulate the formation of bone spurs in the vertebrae, which can grow into the spinal nerve canal, thus pinching the spinal cord. Another common cause of nerve compression is a herniated spinal disc, which allows the gel-like material inside one of the intervertebral discs to leak out and push against or irritate the spinal cord or a nearby nerve branch. Other possible causes of spinal nerve compression include:
- Abnormal spinal alignment (scoliosis)
- Injury to the spine
- A spinal tumor
- Certain bone diseases, such as bone spurs
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Infection in the spinal column or spinal cord
It might not be possible to prevent spinal nerve compression since time takes its toll on the spine and the spinal discs. However, performing exercises to strengthen your back muscles, maintaining a healthy weight, and practicing good posture will improve your chances of avoiding spinal nerve compression.
When you have spinal nerve compression, you may experience more than pain and stiffness in the neck, back, or lower back. Many patients report to feeling a burning pain that spreads to the arms, buttocks, or down into the legs (sciatica). Numbness, cramping, or weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet that cause trouble with hand coordination are very common symptoms of nerve compression. Other unfortunate indicators of this condition are foot drop (a weakness in one foot that makes it hard to walk without a shuffle) and impotence.
Pressure on nerves in the lumbar region of the back due to spinal nerve compression can also cause a more serious condition known as cauda equina syndrome. This kind of pressure on the spinal nerves is often experienced as a sudden loss of bowel or bladder control, severe or increasing numbness (between the legs, inner thighs, and back of the legs), and severe pain and weakness that spreads into one or both legs. If you have cauda equina syndrome, you may find it hard to walk or get out of a chair. This is a medical emergency and needs to be addressed right away.
To diagnose spinal cord compression, Dr. Carll will perform a comprehensive physical exam. During the exam, he will look for signs of spinal compressions, such as areas with a loss of sensation, weakness in your arms or legs, or abnormal reflexes. He may also order x-rays of your spine to look for bone abnormalities, plus a CT or MRI scan to view the spinal cord and spinal discs for a closer look. If needed, he can also perform a myelogram (a special x-ray or CT scan taken after injecting dye into the spinal column), and electromyography (an electrical test of muscle activity).
Dr. Carll may initially recommend medications to reduce any inflammation that might be causing the compression on the spinal cord. Ice and heat therapy have also proven useful for minor cases of nerve compression. Physical therapy may help strengthen your back, abdominal, and leg muscles. Braces may also be worn to support your back or neck.
Surgical solutions for nerve compression might include removing bone spurs that are putting pressure on the spinal cord. Another possibility is a surgical repair of a fractured vertebra that could be collapsing and putting pressure on the spinal nerve. To give the spinal cord and nerves more room, Dr. Carll may recommend shaving off some of the bone from nearby vertebrae to keep them from pressing on each other. Again, spinal fusion surgery may be necessary to help severe pain with movement that involves twisting and turning.
Seek Pain Relief Today
Board-certified spine surgeon Dr. Carll is passionate about providing his patients with immediate and long-term relief from spinal compression. By using state-of-the-art diagnostic technologies, he can diagnose and treat a broad range of spinal and nerve compression issues, often without surgery. If surgery is necessary, he has been rated as a top spine surgeon in Dallas and Collin counties for multiple years. Stop living with so much pain, weakness, or numbness in your body. Call Spine Care of North Texas to schedule an appointment.