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What is Neck Surgery?

Neck surgery is a surgical procedure employed for the treatment of neck pain when conservative measures such as physical rehabilitation, medications, and rest have failed to provide any relief to your neck pain.

The neck supports and assists in movement of the head. It is the most flexible part of the spine and consists of 7 cervical vertebrae, cervical segment of the spinal cord, spinal nerves, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Neck pain can be secondary to a problem affecting any of these structures.

Usually neck pain occurs due to damage to the soft tissue such as muscles, ligaments, and nerves, which may occur either due to an injury or wear and tear associated with the aging process. Neck pain can also result from infections, tumors, or congenital abnormalities of the vertebrae.

Indications for Neck Surgery

Neck surgery is generally indicated for one of these reasons:

  • To mitigate pain caused by nerve root impingement as a result of bone spurs or material from a herniated or ruptured disc, a condition known as cervical radiculopathy
  • To prevent vertebrae from rubbing against each other due to degenerative disk disease, which generates neck pain from pinched nerves
  • To eliminate pressure on the spinal cord caused by bone spurs, a condition known as spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)

When pain and symptoms fail to improve with non-surgical treatment measures such as activity modification, pain medication, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, or spinal injections, neck surgery procedures are employed for the treatment of neck pain, and may include:

  • Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement surgery is a procedure where the damaged intervertebral disc is removed and replaced with an artificial implant. The surgery relieves neck pain as well as restores the normal range of motion of the neck.
  • Posterior Cervical Laminectomy and Fusion is a surgical procedure performed through the back of the neck to relieve pressure over compressed nerves in the cervical spine region caused by inflamed spinal tissue or nerves.
  • Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion is an operative procedure performed through the front of the neck to relieve compression or pressure on nerve roots and/or the spinal cord due to a herniated disc or bone spur in the neck.
  • Cervical Laminoplasty is an operative procedure that involves reshaping/repositioning the bone at the neck region (cervical spine) to relieve excess pressure on the spinal nerves.

Postoperative Care and Instructions

Post surgery, you may have to stay in the hospital for at least a week. You will have to wear a neck brace or protective equipment to aid in healing and to support the neck. Complete recovery may take about 5 weeks or more. You will be instructed on avoiding heavy lifting or exertion for several months. You will be given an exercise regimen to strengthen your neck muscles and improve neck function. You will also be instructed on activity modifications, diet, wound and dressing care, bathing, driving, pain medications, etc, for a complete recovery.

Risks and Complications of Neck Surgery

As with any surgical procedure, neck surgery involves potential risks and complications that include:

  • Damage to the spinal cord or nerves
  • Infection of the area around the spine or bone graft
  • Failure in fusing together of 2 vertebrae
  • Damage to veins and arteries that pass through the neck into the brain
  • Bone graft displacement before occurrence of the fusion

Locations & Directions

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Sports Medicine Associates of South Florida, PA

1600 Town Center Boulevard
Suite C
Weston, FL 33326

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Sports Medicine Associates of South Florida, PA

220 SW 84 Avenue
Suite 102
Plantation, FL 33324

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