Cervical disc herniation and fusion surgery

If you have had chronic neck pain for months and you have not found relief through the use of conservative treatments like pain medication, low-impact exercises and chiropractic care, your doctor may recommend a more aggressive treatment plan like fusion and disc removal. However, this is not the only option available for lasting relief. At Laser Spine Institute, our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional fusion surgery.^ To learn more about your cervical disc herniation treatment options, read the following article and contact Laser Spine Institute with any questions.

Cervical disc herniation facts

A herniated disc can occur almost anywhere in the spine due to trauma, degenerative disc disease or poor lifting techniques. When a disc herniates, its tough outer layer ruptures and allows the gel-like center inside the disc to escape, potentially pressing against the spinal cord or nerve root. This is what causes neck pain and other symptoms like numbness, weakness or tingling. A herniated disc can often heal over time, especially if the patient follows a conservative treatment regimen. For some people, though, conservative treatment will not provide sufficient pain relief and surgery may be recommended.

Disc fusion surgery facts

In a cervical discectomy and fusion procedure, the surgeon will access the cervical spine (neck) through an incision in the front of the neck. Once the incision is open, the surgeon will remove the herniated disc, any bone spurs on the vertebrae and the surface layer of the vertebrae. Then, a bone graft will be inserted to promote bone growth that will fuse the vertebrae together.

In the meantime, though, they are held together by a metal plate that the surgeon screws into the vertebrae. These highly invasive procedures use a 6- to 8-inch incision that cuts or tears the muscles, resulting in a lengthy recovery period and a high risk of complication. A hospital stay of two to five days is standard, and a gradual return to activity, from several months to a year, is necessary.

An alternative to disc fusion

A traditional fusion may not be necessary, however, since Laser Spine Institute provides a clinically appropriate alternative.^ Our board-certified+ surgeons are able to access the herniated disc using a less than 1-inch incision that does not unnecessarily disrupt the muscles or ligaments surrounding the spine. This procedure allows our patients to be up and walking within a few hours of surgery, with 88 of our patients reporting that they returned to daily activities within three months after surgery.^

If your doctor believes that your cervical disc herniation requires fusion and disc removal, reach out to us today. We can offer a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient surgery. We have helped thousands of patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain each year and we look forward to helping you rediscover your quality of life without cervical disc herniation.