Who Needs Cervical Herniated Disc Surgery?

Alan S. Hilibrand, M.D. June 29th, 2017

Cervical herniated disc surgery may effective for severe symptoms.

The seven bones in the neck make up the spinal cervical vertebrae. This section of the spine supports the weight of the head forming a connection to the shoulders and body. Neck pain has many causes and may be associated with damage or degeneration of the discs in the neck causing pain to radiate down the arm.  If you or a loved one is experiencing neck pain and/or arm pain, numbness, or weakness, surgical treatment such as cervical herniated disc surgery may be appropriate for your condition. Rothman Orthopaedic Institute is a national leader in innovation and excellence in orthopaedic clinical care, and we welcome you to seek an evaluation with one of our esteemed spine surgeons.

What is a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc that has ruptured has pushed the center of its nucleus through the outer edge of the disc and back into the spinal canal affecting the spinal nerve roots. Pressured, damaged nerves may be the result of degenerative spine changes or injury. When a disc is weakened, flexibility is lost. Discs shrink and the spaces between the vertebrae get narrower.

Patient Eligibility

Patients seeking relief for neck and back pain should seek an evaluation from one of our spine specialists at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute. A history and physical evaluation serves to pinpoint the exact origin of your pain, track your condition’s progression, and determine your opportunities for different types of procedures or treatments. Some of the symptoms of cervical herniated disc include:

  • Muscle pain from your neck to the shoulder

  • Burning pain or aches that shoot down the arm, shoulders, or neck

  • Weakness in one arm

  • Tingling, pins-and-needles, or numbness in one arm

  • Loss of balance or manual dysentery

Treatment Options

Once a treatment for herniated disc neck pain has been discussed with your doctor, you should make a serious effort to fulfill your physician’s instructions. Patient compliance is key to recovery because 80% of patients can effectively treat and improve their symptoms and condition through nonoperative treatment methods, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Common solutions to resolve a cervical herniated disc include:

  • Activity modification by slowing activities, making only controlled movements when bending or lifting, avoiding sitting for long periods, inclusion of light exercise such as walking, correcting posture for standing, sitting, and lifting

  • Neck exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles

  • Rest

  • Anti-inflammatory medication

  • Icing several times per day

  • Gentle heat application following any residual muscle spasms

  • Physical therapy

The pain from damaged or compressed cervical nerves, vertebrae, and intervertebral discs in the neck and spine may resolve with nonsurgical treatment. There are several surgical procedures including an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, and cervical disc replacement that a doctor may recommend depending on what symptoms persist, the location of the involved nerve root, and a patient’s overall health and medical history. Patients in need of surgical intervention may experience:

  • Significant loss of function

  • A disc fragment that lodges in the spinal canal and presses on a nerve

  • Worsening symptoms

  • Severe or disabling pain

Surgical treatment for a cervical herniated disc will require general anesthesia. The recovery time lasts between two to six weeks on average.

Rothman Orthopaedic Institute

The Rothman Orthopaedic Institute Spine Team performs more than 3,000 surgeries per year. We provide nonoperative and cervical herniated disc surgery for patients in the greater Philadelphia area. You can expect high quality, compassionate, and affordable musculoskeletal care, the results of which will exceed expectations. Improved spine health and healing is a worthwhile pursuit, and we strive to help patients like you achieve the recovery you deserve.

For more information, visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.

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