Cervical Decompression 101 For Patients

For many patients, conservative treatments are enough to manage or eliminate their pain symptoms. However, if chiropractic care and physical therapy fail to provide you with neck pain relief, then your chiropractor may advise you to consider cervical decompression. Continue reading to learn the basics of this treatment.

Overview

Your spine is made up of an intricate network of vertebrae, joints, discs, and nerves. With age, degeneration of the spine can lead to problems like herniated discs, bone spurs, and narrowing of the spinal canal. When someone suffers a herniated disc, the soft inner part bulges outward into the spinal canal. If the bulging disc irritates a spinal nerve root, this can cause pain, numbness, and weakness. Often resulting from natural degeneration as well, bone spurs and spinal stenosis can cause similar problems. Cervical decompression is designed to relieve pressure from the irritated nerve root and provide the patient with neck pain relief.

Types

There are 2 primary types of cervical decompression surgery. The first, called microdiscectomy, is often used to treat a herniated disc to relieve pressure from the spinal nerve root. During the procedure, the surgeon removes the material, such as a small area of bone or disc tissue, that is irritating the nerve and causing the patient pain. The second type is a procedure called a laminectomy that is often used to remove pressure from the spinal cord in patients who have spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal canal. The surgeon removes the spinous process and lamina to provide more space for the spinal cord and encourage its healing.

Recovery

Decompression surgery can be performed with minimally invasive techniques, and undergoing robotic spine surgery for cervical decompression can help decrease your recovery time. Cervical decompression surgery may require a short hospital or medical center stay, and full recovery typically takes 4 to 6 weeks.

The team at The Houston Spine & Rehabilitation Centers offers minimally invasive spine surgery for cervical decompression near The Woodlands. To learn more or schedule your consultation, call (281) 297-8105.

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