Herniated Disc Cervical Spine Surgery

Cervical herniated disc pain will settle over a few weeks or even to a couple of months but if the pain lasts more than 6 to 12 weeks and is really severe that it disable you, spine surgery might just be your option. Spine surgery for cervical herniated disc is quite trustworthy. It has a low risk of failure and figures show that about 95 to 98% are successful in providing pain relief.

Cervical herniated disc spine surgery can be done in different methods – Anterior cervical discectomy and spine fusion, anterior discectomy without spine fusion and Posterior cervical Discectomy.

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Spine Fusion

This is the method most preferred for most spine surgeon. This surgery is done by making an incision in the front of the neck. When the disc is removed the space in between the disc is merged. A plate can be added in front of the graft for a better merging rate.

Anterior Discectomy without Spine Fusion

The patients undergo the same method as above only after removing the disc the space is left open and no bone is added to get a fusion. The disc space will still merge without the bone graft but then the healing would be quite long and when it heals it tends to heal in a deformed position.

Posterior Cervical Discectomy

This method is quite difficult than the other methods discussed above since the surgery involves the back and it can result to a lot of bleeding since there are a lot of veins in this area and the surgeon must be expert enough since it involves a lot of manipulation to the spinal cord.

Post operative care following the spine surgery is very important. For anterior surgery, there is not much pain after the surgery. In fact patients can go home the same day after the surgery or the most stay overnight in the hospital. The pain felt in the arm do goes away fast although it might take a month for the numbness and weakness to subside.

However most spine surgeon would request their patient to have a neck brace. Also you need to limit your activities for a period of time after surgery. So make sure to discuss with your surgeon regarding its post operative care.

Just like any other surgery procedure it has its potential risk although with an experience spine surgeon seldom complications arise but if it does, these are the possible complications.

  • One percent of the case might suffer hoarseness but this usually resolves after two or three months.
  • Damage to either esophagus/trachea or one of the major blood vessels in the anterior spine. This can happen in less than 1 in 1,000 cases.
  • Infections happens less than one percent of cases.

These are just a few of the complications that may arise but so far less than one percent of cases have resulted to any complications.