Summary: Hypertrophy of the yellow ligament is a pathological condition that contributes to the narrowing of the spinal canal and significantly worsens the course of various complications of osteochondrosis of the spine.
What is yellow ligament hypertrophy?
Hypertrophy of the yellow ligament is a condition in which degenerative or inflammatory changes occur in the yellow ligament, which, as a result, leads to its noticeable thickening, which can be seen in MRI images. Hypertrophy of the yellow ligament is also called thickening of the yellow ligament. In most cases, this condition is not the cause of back pain, but in some specific situations the hypertrophy of the yellow ligament can cause symptoms in patients, most often when combined with stenosis (narrowing) of the spinal canal.
Anatomy and pathology
The yellow ligament is a tissue that connects individual vertebrae. It is located inside the vertebrae and makes up the posterior border of the spinal canal. The spinal canal is a hollow tube formed by the vertebral arches, in which the spinal cord and the roots of the spinal nerves are located. Thus, the thickening of the yellow ligament leads to a decrease in free space in the spinal canal. This is usually not a problem, but in those cases, if the patient already has a significant narrowing of the spinal canal, either congenital or acquired, such a condition can cause compression of the spinal cord and lead to the appearance of serious symptoms, including paralysis of the limb and loss of control over functions of urination and defecation.
If the patient according to the MRI results reveal hypertrophy of the yellow ligament, but he does not have a serious narrowing of the spinal canal at the same level of the spine, this condition is considered to be non-dangerous. In rare cases, the doctor may find the hypertrophy of the yellow ligament as the cause of back pain, but this diagnosis is almost always incorrect.
If, due to, for example, intervertebral hernia or arthritis, the spinal canal is already significantly narrowed from the front and side, and the hypertrophy of the yellow ligament narrows it from the back, in this case, thickening of the yellow ligament can actually contribute to the appearance of certain symptoms in the patient. Often in the described situation, surgical intervention is necessary. But it is better to conduct a comprehensive non-operative treatment of a herniated disc, spondylosis or spondylarthrosis. In this case, gradually the space in the spinal canal will become larger and the operation will not be needed. In extremely rare cases, surgical treatment of hypertrophy of the yellow ligament is still advisable.
No one knows exactly why the yellow ligament thickens in some patients and does not thicken in others. With age, some degree of thickening of the yellow ligament becomes normal, but in other cases, various problems with the spine or spinal cord injury may be the cause of the hypertrophy of the yellow ligament. In many cases, the cause of hypertrophy generally fails to identify what, in general, often occurs in the diagnosis of pain in the spine.
If you have been diagnosed with spinal canal stenosis caused by or exacerbated by hypertrophy of the yellow ligament, find out more about this condition before making a decision about treatment. Quite often, patients with such a diagnosis think about surgery. Remember that surgical treatment should always be avoided, except if you have no other choice.
Article added to Yandex Webmaster 2016-03-01, 16:33
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