What is the main difference between cord edema and cord compression?

Cord compression is. The actual pinching or crushing of the spinal cord that can lead to swelling or edema but one can have this edema or swelling without necessarily having any cord compression. They both can present with the same symptoms and findings on exam.
Cord edema. Cord compression can be relieved cord, edema is often caused by compression of the cord but some conditions cause cord edema without compression MS cord edema implies neural injury to the cord is a late sign some cervical cord compression occurs so slowly that no edema develops hope this helps!