Neck spine surgery is an invasive procedure that alleviates pain and other symptoms caused by neck and spine conditions. This surgery can address various issues, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease. The approach may vary depending on the specific condition and your needs but typically involves removing damaged tissue or bone and stabilizing your spine. Neck spine surgery is a complex procedure requiring specialized expertise, and the specialists at the Spine Center Atlanta will explain its risks and benefits so that you can make an informed decision.
When to consider neck spine surgery
Your doctor may recommend neck spine surgery when conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medications, and injections fail to alleviate symptoms. After thoroughly evaluating the condition and overall health, the decision to undergo surgery depends on your results. Surgery may also be necessary in cases where spinal stenosis causes severe neurological symptoms or impacts your ability to perform daily activities. The type of surgery will depend on your unique condition and may include laminectomy, foraminotomy, or other procedures aimed at decompressing the affected nerve root or widening your spinal canal. Your treatment plan may include the following:
- Anterior cervical discectomy
Anterior cervical discectomy is a surgical procedure that relieves pressure on the spinal cord and your neck due to a herniated or degenerated disc. It involves removing part or all of the damaged disc through a small incision. During the procedure, your surgeon makes a small incision in the front of your neck and carefully moves aside the surrounding tissues to access the damaged disc. They remove the disc and then fill the space left behind with a bone graft or artificial spacer to maintain the height of the disc space and stabilize your spine. Sometimes, your provider may also perform a fusion procedure to join adjacent vertebrae using metal hardware or screws.
- Posterior cervical laminectomy
Posterior cervical laminectomy involves the removal of a portion of the lamina, which is the bony arch that forms the back of your spinal canal. Your provider may recommend this procedure to treat spinal stenosis. You will be under general anesthesia during this procedure. Your surgeon will create a small incision in the back of your neck and carefully remove a portion of the lamina using specialized surgical tools. After the procedure, the team may close the incision with sutures.
What to expect after surgery
After neck spine surgery, you may experience pain and discomfort in your neck, shoulders, and back. The severity of the pain and other symptoms will rely on the type of surgery you underwent, your overall health, and how well you follow the postoperative care instructions. Your surgeon may provide pain medication to manage the pain, and you will likely need to wear a neck brace to support the neck and spine.
The recovery time after neck-spine surgery can vary depending on the individual case. Some patients may be able to return to normal activities within a few weeks, while others may require several months of physical therapy and rehabilitation. With proper care and attention, you can fully recover and regain your normal range of motion in your neck and spine.
Contact the practice or schedule an appointment online for more information about neck spine surgery.