Neck surgery may be needed when pain is severe or debilitating.
When you begin to experience neck pain, it’s important to understand that this pain could be the result of an injury or disease that affects other areas of your body like your back or shoulders. Because of how the spine connects these portions of the body, an injury in one area can result in pain occurring within another.
If the non-surgical methods that you’ve used to get rid of the pain have yet to be effective, surgery may be necessary. Regardless of the type of surgery that you need, your doctor can get you back to regular activities quickly.
Why Neck Surgery May Be Necessary
There are a variety of reasons why neck surgery may be necessary. The most likely reason for surgery to be performed is because your spinal cord or the nerve roots along your spinal cord have become compressed. Surgery can be used to decompress the spinal cord and potentially alleviate the pain that you’re dealing with. These procedures can also provide stability to the cervical spine. If a disc in your spine has become damaged or something around the cervical spine is creating irritation with a nerve root, it’s likely that neck surgery will be recommended so that you can be provided with lasting results as opposed to temporary relief.
Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion
This type of neck surgery is the most common when an individual is experiencing neck pain or any of the other symptoms that occur with this pain. The discectomy portion of this surgery refers to the removal of a disc that has been damaged within the cervical spine. The surgery will likely take place at the front of your neck and is performed in combination with a fusion procedure that’s meant to ensure that the spine remains stable after the disc has been properly removed. A discectomy can be performed through the back of your neck, which means that a fusion of the spine will be unnecessary. However, this procedure can be risky if the spine needs to be moved too much, which is why the anterior version of the surgery is considered to be safer.
Anterior Cervical Corpectomy
This is a surgery that’s designed to increase the amount of space that’s present in your spinal canal, which should relieve the symptoms that you’re going through. This procedure is very similar to an anterior discectomy with the primary difference being that a portion of a vertebra is removed along with the discs that are positioned below and above the vertebra. A bone graft is then performed to provide the area where the vertebra was removed with some support.
Posterior Cervical Laminoplasty
This procedure occurs at the back of the neck and is centered around the cutting and restructuring of the lamina, which is considered to be the back portion of a vertebra. The lamina is cut and restructured in a manner that allows for additional space in the spinal canal. Keep in mind that you’ll continue to experience substantial pain following this surgery for at least a few days.