UF Health has one of the most frequent procedures to fix a herniated spine. The cervical (neck), spine section supports your head’s weight. You can bend your head forward or backward from side-to-side, rotate 180 degrees, and your head can be bent forward or backward. This section of your spine contains seven vertebrae. Each of these vertebrae can be separated by discs that contain a nucleus, which is a gel-filled center.
A cervical herniated or ruptured disc is when one of the nuclei breaks through the disc wall. Patients can get relief by using simple treatments such as medication, rest, and physical therapy. However, some patients may need surgery. UF Health is available to restore your quality life.
Cervical Herniated Disc
A cervical herniated or slipped disc is a condition where the central portion of intervertebral dissection protrudes into the spinal cord. This occurs when there is a tear or crack in the fibrous annulus circle that surrounds the soft inner core. Although age is the most common cause for disc herniations, trauma and other factors can cause it.
This protrusion is most commonly found in the lowermost region of the spinal canal. However, they can also occur at the neck. This protrusion typically occurs on the opposite side of the spinal canal at the point where a neuro root leaves the canal. A nerve impingement can cause pain, weakness, and numbness in the specific nerve root’s supply area.
Types Of Surgery For A Cervical Herniated Disc
There are several common options for treating a cervical herniated disc:
Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Spine Fusion (ACDF)
ACDF surgery (or cervical herniated disc surgery) is the most preferred method of treatment among spine surgeons. This procedure involves the removal of the disc via a small incision in the neck. After the disc has been removed, the disc space can be made for the adjacent vertebrae. To increase stability and the possibility of better fusion success rates, you can place a plate in front.
Anterior cervical discectomy with fusion. This involves the surgeon approaching the cervical spine frontally and removing all herniated cells. Next, the surgeon inserts a spacer, either plastic, metal or bone, and then fuse the adjacent vertebrae to maintain normal disc height.
Artificial cervical disc replacement. Similar to ACDF this procedure removes all herniated discs from the front. The disc is not fused to the spine. Instead, it is replaced by an artificial disc that preserves movement at that level.
Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement
The surgical procedure of artificial disc surgery. Artificial disc replacement surgery is the same as ACDF surgery. It involves the removal of the affected disc via a small incision at the neck’s front. An artificial disc replaces the fused vertebrae by being placed in the disc space between adjacent vertebrae. The artificial disc replicates the shape and function of the original disc.
Posterior Cervical Discectomy
This surgery is very similar (from the back to posterior) lumbar discectomy. This may be a good option for cervical discs that herniate laterally in the neural foramen, the tunnel through which the nerve travels to the spinal canal. Because of the number of veins in this region that could cause bleeding, the posterior approach is more complicated than an anterior. The bleeding also affects visualization. This approach requires more manipulation of the spinal cord, and is more likely to cause complications.
While major surgeries can present risks and complications like any other surgery, complications related to cervical disc surgery are extremely rare when performed by an experienced spine doctor. Both ACDF (artificial disc replacement) are considered the most reliable procedures. They can reduce radiating pain as well as tingling that results from a compressed nervous root.
Cervical Radiculopathy Treatment Success Rate
All surgeries come with some risks. One of these is the possibility that you could develop a life-threatening condition. Although surgery to treat cervical Radiculopathy symptoms caused by a herniated spinal disc is relatively risk-free and predictable, it can be performed.
Research shows that neck surgery can treat arm pain associated with cervical radiculopathy, no matter whether the procedure’s anterior or posterior. Most patients are able to go home within the day, and can return to work within a week.