Traditional cervical spine disc surgery and alternative treatment options

Cervical spine (neck) disc surgery is often used to treat degenerative disc diseases in the neck that have not responded well to nonsurgical treatments, such as physical therapy and chiropractic care.

For many patients, degenerative disc disease develops in the cervical spine as a result of the slow deterioration of the spine over time due to the natural aging process. While degenerative disc disease in the lower back is often related to weight gain, disc damage in the neck is often due to a combination of repetitive motion and disc dehydration.

As we age, the discs in our spine slowly lose water mass. This inner disc fluid is what gives the disc height and allows the vertebrae to have proper spacing and cushion to prevent colliding when they move or rotate. Additionally, the vertebrae in the neck are responsible for every movement of the head and neck. Each movement pushes against the disc in between the vertebrae. The elastic, tough outer layer of the disc keeps the inner disc fluid in place as the vertebrae compress it.

However, over time the elasticity wears and the disc begins to lose shape and height. When this happens, a bulging disc, herniated disc or protruding disc can occur. While many patients with these conditions can find relief through nonsurgical methods of treatment, some patients may require surgery to treat their pain and symptoms.

Minimally invasive cervical disc surgery

At Laser Spine Institute, we understand the complications and frustrations that often accompany considering spine surgery. After all, spine surgery is an important decision and should not be taken lightly. We encourage you to review different procedures and methods of surgery before deciding on the right option for you.

For example, before moving forward with highly invasive traditional open neck surgery, you should review the minimally invasive surgery at Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive approach to the spine is a safer and effective alternative with a shorter recovery time than traditional open back surgery.^

Patients with a damaged disc will often undergo our minimally invasive discectomy procedure, which removes a small portion of the damaged disc that is restricting the nerve pathways in the spinal canal. Occasionally, the damaged disc will need to be entirely removed and replaced with stabilizing material. This is called a minimally invasive stabilization procedure.

For more information about our minimally invasive cervical disc surgery, please contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our team can give you a free MRI review* and help you find out if you’re a candidate for treatment.