Spondylosis refers to a degenerative process affecting the vertebral disc and facet joints that gradually develops with age. A common form of spondylosis is cervical spondylosis (sometimes called neck arthritis) in which the facet joints in the neck become enlarged causing the ligaments around the spinal canal to thicken and bone spurs to form. The condition can narrow the spinal canal that results in the compression of the spinal cord and nerve roots.
The chronic compression can lead to damage to the spinal cord, causing symptoms such as weakness and numbness in the upper extremities, impaired walking ability and radicular arm pain. Spondylotic conditions can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy or in some case, a laminectomy or other surgery may be necessary to decompress the spinal cord.