Neck surgery for degenerative spine conditions

If you are considering neck surgery for your degenerative spine condition, you have probably exhausted all conservative treatment options without finding any lasting pain relief. As you begin researching neck surgery options, you should examine the potential risks and benefits of each type of procedure.

For example, traditional open neck surgery does offer the benefit of possibly treating your condition, but this benefit is overshadowed by the increased risks of infection and complications that could have a lasting impact on your quality of life. Naturally, the more invasive the surgical procedure, the more risks involved with the operation.

While no surgery is completely without risk, medical advancements over the past several years have allowed methods like minimally invasive neck surgery to greatly reduce the risks and recovery times^ for neck and back surgery compared to traditional open spine surgery. By researching these options, you are preparing yourself to make an informed, confident decision about your spine care needs.

How traditional open neck surgery is performed

In the past, people who underwent neck surgery to treat common spine conditions typically had a traditional open spinal fusion. This is a highly invasive procedure that involves the following steps:

  • A large incision in the neck
  • Oftentimes, the cutting or tearing of the muscles around the spine
  • The removal of a large portion of the damaged section of the spine
  • The insertion of metal hardware and bone grafts to permanently fuse two or more vertebrae

These highly invasive techniques can increase a patient’s risk of infection, complication and excessive surgical blood loss. Additionally, because this type of procedure is highly invasive, patients are required to spend several nights in the hospital after the procedure.

How minimally invasive neck surgery is performed

Minimally invasive spine procedures, on the other hand, lower a patient’s risk of infection and complication and reduce the recovery time^ compared to traditional open neck surgery. This is because the steps used during minimally invasive neck surgery are less invasive, such as:

  • A small incision in the neck
  • No muscle disruption
  • The removal of a small portion of the damaged spine
  • If necessary, the insertion of an artificial disc and/or bone grafts to stabilize the spine

Because of the minimally invasive approach to the spine, patients of Laser Spine Institute can undergo this procedure in an outpatient setting, meaning no overnight hospitalization or increased hospital expenses.

When does neck surgery become an option?

Most people with symptoms associated with cervical (neck) nerve compression find pain relief from conservative, nonsurgical treatments. However, if you and your doctor notice your pain is not responding to conservative therapy after several months, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive neck surgery at Laser Spine Institute.

To find out your next best step for treatment and to see if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today and ask for a review of your MRI report or CT scan.