SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spinal cord cyst in the neck. Coloured magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the neck of a patient with a cyst (dark patch) in the spinal cord (dark orange). This condition is known as syringomyelia. The cyst expands over time, progressively destroying the centre of the spinal cord. This can cause pain, weakness and stiffness and can lead loss of temperature and bladder control and ultimately paralysis. It can be caused by an injury to the spinal cord, for instance from a car accident, or it can be a congenital development problem. Surgical repair of the spinal cord is necessary to treat the symptoms.
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