Q. Does a patient experience similar symptoms in cervical spinal cord injury and cervical stenosis?

Answered by
Dr. Chirag Solanki
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 06, 2022

Hello doctor,

A friend of mine was 81 years old and fell over a brick in his garden. He did not fall from a height, but he hit his head. His neck, arms, and cervical spine got injured. He was lying on the ground for one to one and a half hours before anyone could find him. He tried to get up, but he could not pull himself up. He thought he had only broken his arm, so someone helped him get up. He then sat down on a small wall for about ten minutes and waited for the ambulance to arrive. When the ambulance arrived, he walked a distance of 25 meters from his garden to the ambulance. An assistant helped him walk, but he died in the hospital four days after the cervical spinal cord transection. When he was lying on the ground, he said he had numbness and a tingling sensation in his legs. When someone helped him to get up from the ground, he said he could not feel his legs but was able to move them. Did he experience these symptoms due to neck or cervical spinal cord injury? Were they symptoms of cervical stenosis or cervical myelopathy?

Thank you.



Welcome to

The symptoms suggest spinal cord injury, which may or may not be associated with a neck fracture. Cervical myelopathy is a less severe form of spinal cord injury, but in pre-existing myelopathy, a fall can worsen the symptoms and cause paraplegia or quadriplegia. It is difficult to predict if the injury initially was life-threatening or not as multiple factors decide the outcome but spinal cord injury plays a significant role.

Thank you.

Thank you doctor for the reply,

I wanted to ask how he was able to walk after a severe cervical spinal cord injury.



Welcome back to

He could walk because the cord was compressed. However, the injury increased when he was being mobilized. The factors determining the outcome are spinal cord injury level and severity, old age, and associated comorbidities.

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