Neck disc surgery

Neck disc surgery is a term for surgical procedures used to treat a damaged disc in the cervical (upper) spine. Like any operation, undergoing neck disc surgery is a serious decision that should only be considered after all nonsurgical treatment options have been exhausted.

Before recommending neck disc surgery, your doctor will likely prescribe a series of conservative treatments. This treatment program may include one or more of the common nonsurgical therapies used to relieve the symptoms of a damaged cervical disc, such as:

  • Pain or anti-inflammatory medication
  • Chiropractic adjustment
  • Stretches
  • Physical therapy
  • Hot/cold compresses
  • Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or improving posture, if necessary

If several consistent months of conservative treatment have not provided pain relief for your condition, your doctor may recommend cervical spine surgery to help you regain your quality of life.

Types of neck disc surgery

Neck disc surgery is often used when a damaged disc in the cervical spine, such as a herniated disc or bulging disc, is pressing against a nearby nerve root and causing severe pain. This pain can stay local to the neck or travel along the nerve pathway into the head, shoulder, arm and hand.

A common type of neck disc surgery is a discectomy. The prefix “disc” refers to the damaged spinal disc while the suffix “-ectomy” refers to surgical removal. That means this procedure is the removal of all or part of the damaged disc in the spine that is causing your pain.

Luckily, for most cases of a discectomy, the entire disc does not need to be removed. The pressure can be released from the pinched nerve by removing only a small portion of the damaged disc, allowing the spine to maintain its stability in that section.

Minimally invasive discectomy

When performed as a traditional open spine procedure, a discectomy is a highly invasive surgery that requires a large incision and significant muscle disruption. This type of surgery requires you to remain in the hospital for several days afterward. Because a traditional open neck discectomy generally involves tearing or cutting of muscle, recovery periods can be lengthy and difficult.^

The minimally invasive discectomy at Laser Spine Institute offers many advantages as an alternative to traditional open neck surgery. This procedure is performed through a less than 1-inch incision that involves less disruption of surrounding muscles. A minimally invasive approach to the spine allows our patients to experience a shorter recovery time and lower risk of complication^ when compared to traditional open spine surgery.

Contact us today to learn more and receive a free MRI review* to find out if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.