We are referred many cases each week for the investigation of spinal disease. This may cause symptoms of spinal pain, weakness, incoordination or paralysis affecting one or more limbs.
Often these symptoms can develop alarmingly fast. The commonest condition that we treat is called intervertebral disc disease but is commonly called a slipped disc.
This can result in compression of and physical damage to the spinal cord or nerve roots, which leads to loss of function. When diagnosed and treated appropriately, most cases can be successfully treated and often will regain normal or almost normal function.
There are however some cases where permanent spinal injury has already occurred which may respond less favourably. Treatment of spinal disease almost always needs advanced imaging such as CT or MRI.
Surgery to decompress and sometimes stabilise the adjacent vertebrae is sometimes commonly necessary to optimise recovery. Where symptoms have developed quickly it is often important to investigate and treat promptly.