What is cervical disc surgery? For whom is this surgery necessary?

If you have pain in the neck and upper back and the doctor determines that the problem is from the cervical disc, cervical disc surgery is probably recommended for your treatment. Of course, surgery is one of the treatment options and the doctor may suggest other methods first. You probably have questions about neck discectomy surgery due to cervical disc disease. For this reason, in this article, we explain what cervical disc surgery is. For whom is this action necessary? What are the benefits and what risks may it cause? What precautions should be taken before and after surgery? How long did the operation take and how long after the surgery can you do your daily activities. If you have a cervical disc, you should consult a neurologist, orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon to treat it and perform surgery. You can contact the best doctors through your doctor’s website. In addition to the face-to-face appointment system, Doktorto also offers online and telephone consultations. What is cervical disc surgery? Vertebral discs are cushions between the bones of the spine. The disc prevents the bones from wearing out and acts as a shock absorber in daily activities, sports and impact. With damage to these discs, moderate to severe pain appears. The cervical disc is related to the discs of the 7 bones above the spine. It is easier to access these discs through the neck or throat. In cervical disc surgery or cervical discectomy, the damaged disc is removed. The damaged disc puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots. As a result, it causes neck pain, weakness, numbness and tingling in the neck and upper back. To reduce these symptoms and relieve pressure, cervical disc surgery should be performed. For whom is cervical disc surgery performed? In order to know whether neck discectomy surgery is suitable for you or not, you should consult a neurologist. After performing the necessary tests, the doctor diagnoses the damaged disc. If the damaged disc is related to the lower parts of the spine, it is a lumbar disc and pain usually occurs in the lower region. But if the disc is related to the first 7 vertebrae, the cervical disc should be treated. If any of the following apply to you, you may need surgery. Diagnostic tests, including MRI and CT scan, show that you have a herniated or degenerative disc. You feel severe weakness in your hand or arm. The pain in the arm is more severe than the neck pain. Disc symptoms do not improve with physical therapy or medication. If you have such symptoms and your pain does not decrease, you should see an orthopedic doctor or a neurologist for advice and review of treatment options. To connect with the best specialists, you can apply through the doctor’s website. In addition to the face-to-face appointment system, Doktorto also offers online and telephone consultations. If the cervical disc does not improve with other treatment methods such as medication or physical therapy, the doctor will recommend cervical disc surgery. If neck pain is severe and is not relieved by medication or physical therapy, surgery is recommended. Types of cervical disc surgery There are several methods to perform cervical disc surgery. The surgeon can choose one of the following options for disc replacement. Bone grafting: sometimes it is necessary to connect a bone to that area. The surgeon can use the bone of the patient’s body elsewhere or from the bone bank. Bone graft substitute: This method is similar to the bone graft method. with the difference that materials are made by humans from bone shavings. Cervical disc replacement: In this method, the surgeon uses an artificial disc and replaces the damaged disc. In addition to the type of cervical disc transplant and repair, this surgery also has different types in terms of technique, such as: anterior neck discectomy or frontal surgery: this technique is more common than other methods and is used to treat cervical disc herniation. A small incision is made in front of the neck. Posterior neck discectomy or surgery from the back: In this technique, similar to lumbar disc surgery, an incision is made from the back. This method is used if the disc herniates laterally into the neural foramen. This technique is more difficult and the risk of spinal cord injury is higher. How to perform cervical disc surgery Cervical disc surgery usually takes 1 to 3 hours. During the surgery, the following 7 steps are performed. This operation is performed under anesthesia. After anesthesia, the neck area is cleaned. If a bone graft is needed, the pelvic area must be prepared for bone removal. An incision is made on the right or left side of the neck. The surgeon moves the muscle in front of the spine to gain access to the vertebrae and discs. The location of the damaged disc must be identified. The surgeon inserts a needle into the disc and diagnoses the damaged disc with the help of X-ray. To perform surgery on the disc, the upper and lower vertebrae must be separated with a special tool. The surgeon first removes the outer wall of the disc. Using a surgical microscope, the rest of the disc is removed, the ligament behind the vertebrae is removed, and the surgeon can remove the disc that puts pressure on the spinal nerves. The hole from which the spinal nerve exits is enlarged with a drill, which is called a foraminotomy. As a result, there will be more space for the exit of the spinal canal. Bone grafting is done to fill the open space of the disc above and below. A metal plate is inserted into the vertebrae to fuse the bones. The cervical disc treatment is completed and the incisions are sutured. In cervical disc surgery, an incision is made on the throat and the vertebrae and disc can be accessed. Important points before cervical disc surgery You will have a consultation with the doctor before the surgery. In this meeting, you must inform the doctor about your medical records and the medications you are taking. Some tests are also necessary before surgery. Your doctor may order blood tests or a chest X-ray. Some medications should be stopped a few weeks before surgery. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and Advil and blood thinners such as aspirin can cause side effects during or after the procedure. Smoking and alcohol should also be stopped 2 weeks before the operation. Because these substances increase the possibility of bleeding and interfere with recovery. You should not eat or drink anything about 8 hours before the operation. The doctor may allow some medicines to be taken with water. You should ask your doctor about this. It is recommended to observe the following points before neck disc surgery and other surgeries. Take a shower with antibacterial soap. Wear flat heeled shoes. Do not wear makeup or nail polish. Before cervical disc surgery, you should consult a doctor and do some tests. Care after cervical disc surgery After surgery and recovery time, you can sit on a chair and walk. If the bone graft is done from the hip joint, the pain is more than the neck pain. Patients are usually discharged on the same day of surgery. You must follow instructions for 2 weeks after cervical disc surgery. These include: Avoid bending and twisting your neck. Do not lift heavy objects. Do not engage in strenuous activities such as work, housework, or sex. Do not smoke. Do not drive unless prescribed by your doctor. Alcohol don’t drink Because it increases the risk of bleeding. Do not shower for two days after the surgery. Be careful not to get the wounds wet. Do not apply any ointment or cream to the wound without consulting your doctor. Take pain regularly. Anti-inflammatory drugs cause problems in bone grafting and should not be taken. For more information about neck disc surgery and aftercare, you can consult with a neurologist, neurosurgeon, or orthopedic doctor through your doctor’s website. In addition to the face-to-face appointment system, Doktorto also offers online and telephone consultations. Benefits of cervical disc surgery Undoubtedly, cervical disc surgery has many benefits for you. Otherwise, the doctor would not recommend it. Among its most important advantages, the following can be mentioned. Arm and neck pain improves. Perfection of the range of motion of the neck from the disappearance of pain between the shoulder blades quoted by Mayfield Clinic regarding the result of neck disc surgery: Neck discectomy is successful in relieving arm pain in 92 to 100 percent of patients. However, arm weakness and numbness may persist for weeks to months. Neck pain is relieved in 73 to 83 percent of patients. In general, people with arm pain benefit more from this surgery than people with neck pain. Disadvantages and complications of cervical disc surgery, all surgeries have risks and complications. The following are the most important risks of neck discectomy surgery. Risk of bleeding and infection, blood clots, reaction to anesthetics, temporary hoarseness (in rare cases, it is permanent), difficulty in swallowing, temporary non-union of vertebrae due to smoking, obesity, osteoporosis, or malnutrition, fracture of metal screws and plates, dislodgement of the transplanted bone (when Rarely, nerve damage or persistent pain, usually hoarseness and difficulty in swallowing continue for several weeks after the operation. In rare cases (about 1 to 2%), this complication may be permanent. After discectomy surgery, there is a risk of the vertebrae not fused and the transplanted bone coming out of its place. The price of cervical disc surgery The cost of cervical disc surgery depends on various factors. Each surgeon has a specific salary according to his skill and experience. In addition, the cost of the hospital, operating room and assistants should be calculated. You can use insurance services to reduce the cost of the operation. Frequently Asked Questions If you are planning to perform cervical disc surgery, you have probably encountered questions about this surgery and its care. For this reason, we have raised some of your frequently asked questions and provided their answers. Is cervical disc surgery dangerous? Any type of surgery has risks and complications. In this procedure, there is a possibility of infection, bleeding, displacement of the transplanted bone or nerve damage. Of course, it should be noted that more than 93% of patients were completely satisfied with this surgery. How long does it take to recover after cervical disc surgery? Usually, the recovery period after cervical disc surgery lasts about 4 to 6 weeks. The doctor decides on the resumption of activities in the post-surgery sessions by examining and performing tests such as X-rays. How should you sleep after cervical disc surgery? Try to sleep on your back and do not put pressure on the stitches. In the first few weeks, rest is very important and the neck should not be strained. What action is necessary to take care of the surgical wound of the cervical disc? The wounds should not be wet until 2 days after the operation. If the wound gets wet, dry it quickly. You should not use blood thinners or anti-inflammatory drugs to prevent bleeding from wounds. Do not apply ointment or cream on the stitch. What exercises are suitable for neck recovery after neck disc surgery? To start exercising after surgery, you must consult your doctor. Pressure on the neck may damage the stitches and the spinal cord. After the doctor’s approval, you can perform movements such as moving your head up and down, left and right. Place your hand on the head and gently push the head to one side. Such exercises can be beneficial. How long after cervical disc surgery can you lift heavy objects? It takes about 4 to 6 weeks to fully heal. During this time, you should not lift heavy objects. After 6 weeks, consult your doctor and if approved by the doctor, you can resume your daily activities. Can you drive after cervical disc surgery? You should not drive for a few weeks. This may put pressure on the neck. You should consult your doctor before driving. What should we eat after cervical disc surgery? It is better to include clear liquids in the diet 1 to 2 days after the operation. After that you can continue your normal diet. You may have a slight sore throat and difficulty swallowing, which will improve over time. What is the cause of pain after cervical disc surgery? After the operation, some pain is normal due to the incision and bone grafting to the spine. To reduce the pain, the surgeon prescribes painkillers. Which doctor should we go to for neck disc surgery? Cervical disc surgery is performed to reduce pressure on the spinal cord and improve neck and arm pain. In this operation, the damaged disc is removed and the pressure is removed from the spinal cord. About 10% of patients with cervical disc need surgery. Usually, this condition is treated with medicine or physiotherapy. To determine the treatment option, you should see a neurologist, orthopedic specialist or brain and spinal cord surgeon. Before and after this surgery, you should avoid blood thinners, smoking and alcohol. Otherwise, the possibility of bleeding increases. About 4 to 6 weeks after the operation, daily activities can be carried out. Over time, the pain in the neck and hands also disappears. To find the best neurologist, orthopedic specialist or neurosurgeon, you can use your doctor’s website. In addition to the face-to-face appointment system, Doktorto also offers online and telephone consultations. Your doctor takes care of your health!

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