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What are the symptoms of syringomyelia?

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Quick Answer

Some symptoms of syringomyelia include muscle weakness, loss of reflexes, loss of sensitivity to temperature or pain, stiffness of the back and spinal curvature. Symptoms associated with this condition develop gradually over time, notes Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Other names for syringomyelia include morvan disease, hydromyelia, spinal cord cyst and syringohydromyelia. This condition usually occurs when a cyst containing fluid forms within the spinal cord, according to WebMD. The cyst may eventually expand and cause damage to the spinal cord.

Individuals with syringomyelia are likely to develop a condition known as atrophy. Atrophy refers to weak muscles. Stiffness of the arms, back and legs are common. Syringomyelia can cause individuals to have problems with bowel and bladder functions.

Other symptoms associated with this condition include pain in various parts of the body, spasms in the legs, painful sensations in the face and numbness in some cases.

A complete physical exam and patient medical history recording form the initial round of diagnosis. Imaging tests, including an MRI and CT scan, may help in determining severity and ascertain the condition. In some cases the condition resolves itself. However, other cases may require close monitoring or surgery. Avoid activities such as heavy lifting or anything that exerts too much force on the spinal cord as this may worsen the symptoms.

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