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 this treatment is not providing enough relief, neck surgery may be required.

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.
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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 spacer, and fuses the area between two or more vertebrae. Spinal fusion will reduce flexibility and range of motion, but may relieve pain and symptoms.

CERVICAL DISC REPLACEMENT 

With this option, the 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 a 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 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.
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MAKING A TREATMENT DECISION

A doctor will take into account a person's overall health by evaluating the potential benefits, risks, and complications of neck surgery. Learn about the cervical surgery options so they can be considered thoughtfully.

In addition:

  • Have an educated discussion with a doctor or multiple doctors
  • Understand the potential benefits and risks
  • A person's physical condition and mental attitude is important
  • Set realistic goals

Always discuss options with a healthcare professional.