Let’s face it. If you are experiencing moderate to severe neck pain, and you’re here – it’s likely that you are weighing the pros and the cons of having a neck surgery. We understand the care and the importance of such a decision and we are here to help you address some of the most common questions and concerns you may have, if you think you may need to be a candidate for neck surgery.
There are three common orthopedic reasons one may need neck surgery for their cervical spine:
– A nerve root needs to have pressure removed from it by extracting disk, bone, or other tissue.
– Your spine is unstable and is putting your spinal cord at risk.
-Your spinal cord needs to be decompressed.
It’s important to recognize that every case is unique. With several available modalities to help treat your specific symptoms, we strongly support your decision to consider surgery as the last option available. Moreover, many spine issues can be managed conservatively with physical therapy, injections and rehabilitation.
As Eric Wieser, MD laments “Early treatment is crucial to your long term success.” It is crucial to not wait out your symptons. So be sure to take STEP ONE as soon as possible – consulting your physician about your specific neck pain. In some instances, neck pain can be the direct result of muscle imbalances, which can frequently be treated by weight management, nutrition, and better sleep. However, if you are experiencing tingling, a “pins and needles” effect, or radiating pain in your arms or legs, then you should call directly to a fellowship-trained, board-certified, spine surgeon to schedule an evaluation. Share your symptoms and concerns with your physician and they will most likely order imaging and begin your treatment as quickly as possible.
If you are experiencing muscle atrophy, a loss of muscle mass/strength, loss of control of a limb, loss of control of your bowels or bladder; then it’s important to get in immediately as you may already require surgical intervention. Have you already exhausted oral steroids, trigger point injections, epidural steroid injections? Is your pain unmanageable by drugs, therapy, stretches, and case-specific exercises? If so, then it may be time to consider a direct consultation with one of our two board-certified and highly rated spinal surgeons – Dr. Eric Wieser or Dr. Michael Ramsey.
When considering surgery, it is important to collect all of the information and speak to a specialist about your specific instance. Every case is unique and nerves are both delicate and temperamental so ask your doctor about the risks, what you can expect as an outcome, and what the range of your recovery could look like.