Anterior Cervical Descectomy

The upper portion of the spine called the cervical spine (neck) is made up of bony vertebrae along with ligaments to provide stability. Included in the cervical spine are muscles to a llow support and motion. Supporting the weight of the head the neck allows a significant amount of motion: rotating up, down, left, right, sideways. The bones of the cervical spine are separated by a gel-like cartilage pad known as an intervertebral disc. (See head and neckTower Orthopedics ). These discs allow the neck to bend and can act like shock absorbers during activities. Spinal nerves branch at each verterbra (bone) that allow sensation to the neck and the rest of the spine. The ligaments and muscles’ job is to support and protect the spinal cord and nerves which runs like a long tube up and down the spine.

Injuries to the neck can be caused by accidental trauma, age, or normal wear and tear. Usually pain occurs when intervertebral discs bulge or become ruptured suddenly or slowly over time. With a disc rupture, the pain may be a direct result of the spinal nerves being compressed (See pinched nervetreatment option).Numbness, instability and discomfort in the neck could be associated with this type of nerve compression.

The diagnostic process for a bulging (herniated) disc usually involves an MRI scan or X-Ray which give detailed insight on problem areas. Once diagnosed, Tower Orthopedics specialists will select the appropriate treatment.

One treatment option that your specialist might recommend is an anterior cervical discectomy. In this operation, the cervical spine is reached through a small incision in the anterior (front) of your neck. After the soft tissues of the neck are separated, the problem intervertebral discs are removed. The space left between the vertebrae may be left open or filled with small pieces of bone called a bone graft.