C1-C7 disc protrusion
C1-C7 disc protrusion is a spine condition that affects one or more of the seven discs in the cervical spine (neck).
Typically, the discs in the spine provide cushioning for the bony vertebrae, as well as give the neck its range of motion and flexibility. This mobility, however, combined with the burden of supporting the head’s weight, makes the discs particularly prone to damage from regular wear and tear or injury.
Think about how many times a day the head turns or tilts. Each of these small movements requires the discs in the cervical spine to bend and flex in order to allow the vertebrae to move. Years of this continual motion can cause the discs to wear down over time, possibly leading to the development of disc protrusion or another spine condition.
Symptoms of a C1 – C7 disc protrusion
While a disc protrusion in the neck can often go unnoticed, it can lead to a number of symptoms if the disc presses against a nerve root in the spinal canal or the spinal cord. Cervical disc protrusion symptoms include:
- Neck pain
- Muscle weakness
The specific symptoms depend on the location of the disc protrusion. In addition to the seven cervical vertebrae, there are also eight cervical nerves (C1 to C8) that exit the spine through the cervical vertebrae. These nerve roots send and receive signals throughout specific regions of the body. If one of these nerves is compressed, the symptoms could be sent to the following associated areas of the body:
- C1 and C2 — neck and skull
- C3 — diaphragm
- C4 — upper arms
- C5 and C6 — wrists
- C7 — upper arms
- C8 — hands
Treatment for C1-C7 disc protrusion
A conservative treatment plan is often an effective method to manage disc protrusion symptoms. Surgery is normally only reserved for patients who have not found pain relief from physical therapy, medications, corticosteroid injections and other conservative treatments.
For patients recommended spine surgery to treat a C1-C7 disc protrusion, there is an alternative to traditional open neck surgery. The minimally invasive spine surgery performed at Laser Spine Institute offers patients a shorter recovery time§ and lower risk of complication than traditional open neck surgery. Because our procedures are performed in outpatient surgery centers, patients can avoid the hospital-associated costs associated with traditional procedures.
To learn more about our spine procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We can provide you with a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery. It’s time to take the next step toward reclaiming your life from chronic neck pain.