Neck surgery is a very serious topic in the dorsopathy sector, since acquiescing to an operation as a potential cure for neck pain can be a risky and complicated decision to make.
As a long time back and neck pain researcher and patient advocate, I must tell you up front that I am generally considered very anti-surgery and make no claims to the contrary. However, I must also tell you that this attitude is not based on opinion, but instead on the often abysmal curative results offered by most cervical surgeries, either immediately or eventually. To put it simply, surgery rarely provides a lasting cure, if indeed it helps at all, which in many cases, it does not.
This resource section provides essays which explore surgical interventions utilized to solve neck ache concerns. We will investigate the procedures used, the risk of spinal operations and the results which may be expected.
Neck Surgery Topics
Below are listed many individual articles each relating to a specific focus within the surgical sector of neck care:
Neck pain surgery is performed in the hopes of ending the symptoms once and for all. Statistically, this is a goal rarely achieved, regardless of the type and scope of the procedure utilized.
Cervical spine surgery can be a specialty of the orthopedic surgery community or the neurosurgery community. Cervical disc surgery is the most common type performed.
Cervical discectomy is an ultra-common disc procedure used to reduce the likelihood of a herniated disc being symptomatic. Anterior cervical discectomy is a common minimally invasive approach for the technique to be executed with the least anatomical damage possible. Cervical endoscopic discectomy utilizes high-tech tools to complete the operation without muscular dissection.
Cervical laminectomy is old school surgery used to decompress the central spinal canal, or the foraminal spaces, usually due to arthritic change.
Cervical spinal fusion is the most invasive and dangerous form of spinal operation. Spinal fusion in the neck demonstrates considerable risks and complications for virtually every patient and is almost never actually needed. Anterior cervical fusion offers a less invasive approach for the procedure to be performed for indicated patients.
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is a combination operation which seeks to remove herniations at one or more levels and fuse problematic vertebrae at one or more levels.
Cervical artificial disc implantation uses intervertebral substitutes to replace degenerated or herniated discs in the neck. Cervical disc replacement surgery is the actual technique used to place artificial discs in the neck.
Cervical stenosis surgery can resolve central canal or foraminal canal narrowing in many patients.
Minimally invasive neck surgery is always preferred to traditional fully invasive techniques, since it does less damage and facilitates a faster recovery. Endoscopic neck surgery is one of the minimally invasive approaches used for many procedures. Anterior neck surgery allows the surgeon to work on the spine from the frontal side of the neck, instead of from the back.
The risks of neck surgery are considerable and possibly life changing.
Do not take these lightly.
IDET in the cervical spine is a common anatomical location for intradiscal electrothermal therapy to be utilized to resolve intact, bulging discs.
Cervical radiofrequency ablation seeks to end nerve pain by stunning or killing problematic nerve fibers.
Cervical rhizotomy is directed towards facet joint pain in the neck.
Surgical Risks and Rewards
There are many specific and general risks of cervical surgeries. The patient can suffer from many complications ranging from infection and nerve damage to paralysis and even death. Of course, the most severe of these are not common, but mild to moderate complications are incredibly prevalent in a great number of patients.
The most typical risk of all surgical procedures is that they rarely provide a cure. Most patients will still have symptoms, immediately or eventually after surgery, while some will actually have far worse pain postoperatively. Only a minority of neck pain sufferers are rewarded with a lasting cure which allows them to be symptom-free for 7 years or more.
Neck Surgery Help
As I always write, I suggest that patients who can avoid spinal surgery should do so. Surgery should never even be considered unless it is a verified medical emergency or until every conceivable conservative treatment option has been proven to fail. Even in these extreme circumstances, it must be thought over carefully.
I understand that patients just have enough of the pain and will do anything to relieve it. I completely know what this is like, since I live it myself. However, giving in to surgery is not likely to cure you, statistically, and may make things much worse.
Imagine going through all that pain and suffering, with so much time and hope invested in the outcome, only to be worse off afterwards. Well, if you want to know what it is like, just ask the millions of failed neck surgery sufferers who actually live this nightmare every day of their lives.