The main "wiring" of the body is carried in the spinal cord. If the spinal cord is put under pressure from disc herniations, overgrown joints or ligaments, or growing tumors, the wiring can fail. The result is a progressive loss of function in the legs or the arms and legs. Balance may be affected first, but over time patients can become wheelchair bound. These conditions often require surgery. If the problems develop quickly, the surgery may become emergent.