If a disorder or injury interrupts or disturbs the way neural signals are transmitted through the spinal cord, a condition called myelopathy occurs. Spinal cord problems occur most often in the cervical spine, but may sometimes occur in the thoracic spine.
Myelopathy can be difficult to detect. Usually it develops gradually in seniors, with a loss of coordination, difficulty navigating stairs, or with problems fastening buttons. Sometimes, for example, after a neck injury, myelopathy may develop and worsen rapidly. Its symptoms depend on the location and severity of spinal cord compression.