As we age, the cervical disks in our spine begin to collapse and bulge, which causes a loss of space between cervical vertebrae. Cervical disk degeneration happens to everyone, usually by age 60, but some experience worse degeneration than others. Scientists aren’t sure why it happens, but for those with advanced cervical disk degeneration, surgery may be needed.
ACDF surgery is done to alleviate severe symptoms associated with cervical disk degeneration, which include: neck stiffness, neck pain, headache, pain that travels into the shoulders and arms, weakness in hands, arms, shoulders and legs and numbness in the arms. Those who experience severe arm pain are often the best candidates for ACDF surgery.
For those who suffer from cervical spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal commonly caused by age-related changes to the spine, spondylosis or an intervertebral disc prolapse, a cervical laminectomy may provide relief. Those with arthritis or severe degeneration, or those who have experienced trauma may benefit from having a fusion as part of the procedure, as well.
Those who undergo a cervical laminectomy typically report less pain as well as reduction or elimination from other symptoms stemming from a reduced tunnel for the spinal cord and nerve roots to pass through. Patients also typically have improved nerve function and the surgery can prevent abnormal motion in the spine as well as further deterioration by relieving pressure on the spine and its nerves.
There are several symptoms that lead patients to get neck surgery, including: weakness, severe or chronic nerve pain, degenerative disc or facet disease, progressing deformity and instability, Surgery is most likely to be recommended if nerve compression and spinal cord compression are causing the experienced pain, especially if it is leading to myelopathy.
Immediate relief from pain is the best benefit of posterior cervical fusion surgery. Because the surgery is less invasive than other approaches, recovery is faster. Relief of chronic pain makes it easier to perform daily activities.
This service is intended to provide easy, affordable, and timely access to Board Certified and clinically experienced spine surgeon. Individuals to whom this consultation will be most useful are domestic or international patients who do not have ready access to a local spine specialist and patients who have had consultations with other spine surgeons and wish to seek a second opinion, confirming or refuting their prior diagnosis. Prior to embarking on a potentially dangerous and certainly permanent surgical intervention, a review by a second set of eyes can be comforting and valuable.
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