Cervical disc surgery

Cervical disc surgery is used to treat a damaged disc in the cervical (upper) spine. This type of procedure is usually considered when neck pain has become too much to bear and cannot be managed by nonsurgical treatments.

In many cases, a series of conservative therapies will be recommended by your doctor to help manage the pain and symptoms of a cervical spine condition like a herniated or bulging disc. While the treatment methods are unique to each patient, the most commonly recommended nonsurgical treatments for neck pain include:

  • Pain medication
  • Gentle stretches
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Massage therapy
  • Hot/cold compresses

If you’ve already exhausted all of these conservative options and you are still suffering from chronic pain, it may be time to ask your doctor about cervical disc surgery to treat your damaged disc at its source.

What is cervical disc surgery?

The goal of cervical disc surgery is to remove pressure from the damaged disc on the pinched nerve near the spine. The pinched nerve is the cause of your pain and symptoms, so removing pressure on it should relieve your discomfort. This can be accomplished through two different approaches: traditional open neck surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery.

Traditional open neck surgery requires a large incision in the neck, which cuts and tears through the muscles and soft tissue near the spine in order to reach the damaged disc. Once the herniated or bulging disc is reached, the surgeon will remove a small portion of the disc to relieve pressure on the pinched nerve. In some severe cases, the entire disc must be removed, and the spine is fused together with a small metal cage and rods. The highly invasive nature of this procedure leaves patients at a relatively high risk of complication and a longer recovery time.^

Minimally invasive spine surgery is an alternative to traditional open spine surgery. Our procedures use a small incision and other techniques that help to spare the muscles or soft tissue near the spine. Because of this minimally invasive approach, our patients can experience a shorter recovery time^ and a lower risk of complications after surgery.

Much like traditional open neck surgery, our minimally invasive spine surgery removes a small portion of the damaged disc to decompress the pinched nerve. In the event that the entire disc should be removed, we provide minimally invasive stabilization procedures that are an outpatient alternative to traditional open spine surgery.

Next steps

To learn more about the benefits of our minimally invasive spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our team can guide you through your treatment options after we provide a free MRI review* to find out if you are a candidate for one of our procedures.