Cervical disc surgery may be performed in two ways:
Cervical disc surgery is undertaken to remove a disc that is pressing on a cervical nerve and/or the spinal cord.
Symptoms of a cervical disc prolapse include neck and arm pain as well as weakness or numbness in the arm/hand (trapped nerve in the neck).
Symptoms of spinal cord compression include tingling in the hands and feet, clumsiness of the hands and unsteady walking.
You may be recommended to consider surgery if your symptoms of a trapped nerve have not settled with time and pain relief or if you have spinal cord compression.
If you are demonstrating symptoms of a trapped nerve in your neck, then it is likely that you will be recommended to undergo an MRI scan of your cervical spine.
If your MRI demonstrates a cervical disc prolapse (slipped disc) with nerve compression then you have three main options:
Which treatment is right for you will depend on the severity and duration of your symptoms, how quickly you want to return to full physical activity and also your understanding of the risks of any procedure.
You will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions about the technique of surgery, any potential complications as well as your expected rate of recovery following surgery.
After cervical disc surgery patient satisfaction rates are 85-90% and we expect 90% of patients to experience good or excellent relief from arm pain. (Spine Tango data)
As with all surgery there is always some risk of complication. These will be discussed prior to going ahead with any procedure. For this type of surgery, risks include:
Data from Spine Tango.