Herniated Disc | Herniated Cervical Disc (Neck)

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Herniated Cervical Disc (Neck)

herniated disc

Being diagnosed with a herniated cervical disc usually means bad news for anyone, but don’t despair. No matter how dreadful this condition can be, there is hope for recovery. Doing the right things on time can help you avoid the worst.

A cervical herniating disc is a condition that affects one of the intervertebral discs in the neck area. It is one of the most common type of injuries in the spine, next to a lumbar herniation (meaning in the lower back).



This post will talk about the general symptoms, treatment options, and surgery procedures for a cervical disc herniation. For more detailed articles go to the herniated neck disc category or just choose one of the posts that interests you:

Symptoms of a Disc Injury in the Cervical Spine

The symptoms of a herniated neck disc might surprise the victims at first, as this kind of injury doesn’t just trigger pain in the neck area. Due to the proximity to the lumbar cord and various nerve roots, cervical intervertebral discs can easily cause pain in other body parts that are served by these nerves.

Whenever a herniated neck disc impinges or touches a nerve root, there is a good chance that the concerned person feels pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in their shoulder area, their arm and even their fingers. In some cases even the face can be affected, including ears and eyes.



Treatment Possibilities

After the incident that triggered the disc herniation, the patient usually needs a few days of rest and some medical attention to calm the initial pain. After the first shock, there are various treatment options that can help, like for example physical therapy.

Other alternative treatment options that have shown to be effective include chiropractic care, massages, acupuncture. In order to achieve long term relief it is necessary to find the optimal combination of such therapies and exercises. That way you can treat the original problem that is very often associated with too weak or just unbalanced muscles as well as wrong postures.

Cervical Intervertebral Disc Surgery

When everything is too late and there is no chance left to treat the condition with conventional treatments, a lot of patients consider surgery. The most common type of surgery performed for prolapsed discs at this level is the so called anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.




This operation helps decompress the spine by taking away the pressure from the spinal cord and the nerve roots that have been affected by the disc.

It involves removing the concerned disc through a small incision in the front part of the neck and the subsequent fusion of the two vertebrae, for which there are different ways and materials.

The video on the left is an animation of such anterior cervical discectomy followed by a fusion using a plate and screws.

Unfortunately this methods has its downsides, like most kinds of surgery. One of the biggest concerns of the patients is that the fusion takes away some of the natural mobility and flexibility of the neck.

Make sure you have considered all risks and have taken a few months to try out all other treatment possibilities, before deciding to get a surgery for a herniated cervical disc.


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One Response to “Herniated Cervical Disc (Neck)”

  1. Wendy on September 20th, 2012 5:07 pm

    Hi, I’m just waiting for a appointment to see a neurosurgeon to see what my options are. I have a page long of what is wrong with my neck but I’ll only list a couple. Disc desiccation at all cervical levels. C4-5 paracentral disc bulge with associated annular tear. C5-6 large left paracentral disc herniation with an associated annular tear with which impresses on the cord. Spinal Stenosis. That is just a few of whats wrong with my neck. I’ve also had a complete shoulder replacement.

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