Neck Surgery Treatment Options

surgical options for treating damaged cervical discs

Physical therapy and medication often provide relief from symptoms caused by damaged cervical discs. If you’re not getting enough relief, you may need neck surgery.

THE IMPORTANCE OF CONSERVATIVE CARE

Dr. Jack Zigler explains why it's important to try conservative care for at least 6 weeks before proceeding with neck surgery. Dr. Zigler is with the Texas Back Institute in Plano, Texas.

There are different surgical techniques for treating cervical disc degeneration or herniation: cervical fusion and cervical disc replacement.

DESCRIBING THE SURGICAL PROCEDURE

Dr. Jack Zigler describes the neck surgery procedure used for cervical fusion and cervical disc replacement. Dr. Zigler is with the Texas Back Institute in Plano, Texas.


CERVICAL FUSION SURGERY

A common surgical option for treating cervical disc degeneration is cervical fusion surgery. With cervical fusion, the surgeon removes the disc, inserts a plate and interbody, and fuses the area between two or more vertebrae. Spinal fusion will reduce your flexibility and range of motion, but may relieve your pain and symptoms.


CERVICAL DISC REPLACEMENT 

With this option, the neck surgeon replaces the deteriorated disc with an artificial disc instead of a spacer and does not fuse the vertebrae. Cervical disc replacement may relieve symptoms while allowing you to maintain your range of motion. 


HEALING FROM THE INCISION

With either cervical fusion or cervical disc replacement, incisions are made in the front of the neck. This area of the neck heals usually heals very well.

SURGICAL INCISION

Dr. Jack Zigler talks about the location of the incision made for neck surgery and the scar that appears after the incision has healed. Dr. Zigler is with the Texas Back Institute in Plano, Texas.


MAKING THE TREATMENT DECISION

Your doctor will take into account your overall health in evaluating the potential benefits, risks, and complications of neck surgery. Learn about your cervical surgery options so you can consider them thoughtfully. In addition:

  • Have an educated, frank discussion with your doctor or multiple doctors
  • Understand the potential benefits and risks
  • Evaluate your physical condition and mental attitude
  • Set realistic goals

Need help finding a neck surgeon who can answer your questions? Use our Find a Specialist tool to find a surgeon near you.


Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.