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Myelopathy is a general term that refers to a disorder or disease, which compromises the spinal cord. Myelopathy is very different from radiculopathy (nerve root) compromise, which is caused by isolated compromise of individual spinal nerve roots.


The most common cause of myelopathy is spinal cord compression from a disc herniation or bone spur (osteophyte). Myelopathy does not commonly occur with low back pain because the spinal cord normally ends at the approximate level of the 1st lumbar vertebral body after which point only descending nerve roots occupy the spinal canal.

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