Does A Slipped Disc Require Surgery?
Herniated discs are a common ailment that happens in the spine. A fluid-filled, fibrous disc lies between each pair of vertebrae. A range of symptoms can occur if the disc rupture or move out of place. Herniated discs are common in the lower back. However, more people are experiencing this condition in the neck. A cervical herniated disc can cause uncomfortable symptoms, affecting the quality of life. In some cases, surgical repair is the best action for long-term pain relief.
From the back to the arm
A herniated disc presses on nearby nerves, causing severe pain, stiffness, and discomfort. These nerves send signals to the brain, and any irritation can lead to chronic pain. Surprisingly, arm pain is another common symptom. The nerves in the cervical spine area run to the shoulder and arm. Therefore, when the disc presses on these nerves, some patients experience shoulder and arm pain. This pain is similar to sciatica, which occurs due to a herniated disc in the lower spine. If left untreated, cervical herniated discs can limit the use of the arm due to the excruciating nerve pain.
Any individual with a possible cervical herniated disc should seek medical advice immediately. A doctor will first perform physical tests and x-rays to locate the source of arm pain. Next, the doctor will typically recommend a conservative treatment program, including pain medication, physical therapy (PT), and rest. Other forms of treatment include nerve blocks to diagnose and treat the issue. Should these treatments fail to bring relief, the next step may be surgery. The doctor can repair the cervical herniated disc using a range of techniques. The type of surgery depends on the location of the herniated disc, the number of herniated discs, and the patient’s health.
Some patients will benefit from a partial or complete discectomy. During the procedure, a surgeon removes part or all of the disc irritating the nerves. Then, a replacement disc can be installed to restore the neck’s height and structure. Another option is the anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) approach. This minimally invasive procedure is an approach that takes place from the front of the neck. The surgeon will remove the disc and install a graft. Metal screws and a cage hold the bones and graft in place. The bones then fuse to form a solid, singular piece of bone. These procedures all have high success rates and short recovery times due to the minimally invasive approach used.
No more pain in the neck
Most people associate neck pain with stress or muscular issues. While this is true in some cases, many are due to a cervical herniated disc. The pain and discomfort can lead to arm pain since the nearby nerves are affected. The best surgical technique will relieve pain and improve life quality. However, patients should always try conservative methods first. Take any chronic neck pain seriously and pursue all options to improve the condition.