Neck Surgery Q & A
You may require neck surgery to repair an injury or relieve chronic pain associated with your upper spinal cord or cervical nerve root compression if non-surgical treatments haven’t worked for you. Reasons for neck surgery include:
- Decompressing the spinal cord
- Stabilizing the cervical spine
- Removing damaged discs that irritate nerves
- Preventing further disc damage of degeneration
- Alleviating pain
- Improving spinal alignment
- Preserving range of motion in your neck
- Treating cervical spinal stenosis
Whatever your particular condition, at Legacy Brain & Spine our neurosurgeons, spinal surgeons, and orthopedists are skilled at using the most advanced techniques, along with state-of-the-art equipment, to perform even the most complex and delicate cervical spine surgery.
To determine whether neck surgery is right for you, our Legacy Brain & Spine specialists will review your medical history and symptoms and complete a physical exam. They will also use diagnostic imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRIs, to confirm whether you are a good candidate for a particular procedure. To avoid subjecting you to potentially unnecessary surgery, your doctor may recommend non-surgical treatment, such as physical therapy, injections, or other non-invasive options first.
After a consultation and a physical exam, your treating physician (usually a neurosurgeon) might recommend one or more of the following types of neck surgery, depending on your injury and symptoms:
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)
ACDF, also known as anterior cervical decompression, removes degenerative or herniated discs in your cervical spine through the front part of your neck. This technique allows your surgeon to perform cervical spinal fusion, which consists of placing a bone graft or implant in the space left by the removed disc, to preserve the stability of your spine.
Cervical artificial disc replacement
This procedure allows your neurosurgeon to remove a damaged disc and replace it with an artificial one.
Cervical decompression surgery
The goal of spinal decompression surgery is to release nerves in your neck that are compressed by surrounding bones or bone fragments, as well as to increase space in your spinal canal if you are suffering from cervical spinal stenosis. Your surgeon might restructure or remove part of your vertebrae or discs through the front or back part of your neck.
Your doctor will give you detailed pre-surgery instructions, including foods and drinks to avoid prior to the procedure. Immediately before surgery, you will be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep so you don’t feel any pain.
After surgery, you will rest for a couple of hours in our on-site recovery room before having someone drive you home. Your surgeon will give you post-surgery care instructions and advise you when to return for a follow-up visit. For optimal results, they may also recommend physical therapy during your recovery.
Don’t live with chronic neck pain or a non-healing injury when you don’t have to. Schedule an appointment with us over the phone or online to learn more about your options.