Central cord syndrome, which is characterized by the loss of motion and sensation in the arms and hands, is the most common form of cervical spinal cord injury.
Central cord syndrome is a type of incomplete spinal cord injury, marked by damage to the nerve fibers that bring messages from the brain to the body. This condition can affect how you use your arms and hands, and in some cases, your legs.
CCS is caused by damage to the central part of the spinal cord. This damage may occur when the neck is hyperextended and may be associated with a cyst in the spinal cord, loss of blood to the area, swelling, or blood in the spinal cord.
Common causes of central cord syndrome include:
- Trauma, such as a car accident or sports injuries
- Degenerative of the spine, often found in older people
- Pre-existing condition, such as being born with a narrow spine
- Structural problems
- Tumors within the spinal cord
Males over the age of 50 are more likely to have central cord syndrome. If the injury is due to trauma, symptoms will typically appear quickly.
In most cases of central cord syndrome, surgery is not necessary. Though, rehabilitation may take a good deal of time for some. Younger patients with more muscle function will typically heal quicker.
Non-surgical treatment will probably include:
- Restricting neck movement
- Giving steroids
- Doing physical and occupational therapy
Surgery may be needed when there is a large compression of the spinal cord fibers. It may also be done after a period of recovery, if the patient is still having symptoms.