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Understanding Herniated Cervical Disc: Diagnosis and Treatment

Home / Understanding Herniated Cervical Disc: Diagnosis and Treatment

Understanding Herniated Cervical Disc: Diagnosis and Treatment

  • Dr. Charla Fischer
  • Dec 23, 2016

Human backbone or spine is composed of a number of connected bones which are called as “vertebrae”, they surround the spinal cord and protects it from all kinds of damages. Nerves branch off the spinal cord and are spread across the body, which allows for the communication between your body and brain. Your brain can send the message down your spinal cord so that muscles can move. Nerves also send information about body pain to your brain. Vertebrae are connected together by a disc and small joints which are called as facet joints. The disc is made of strong connective tissues that hold vertebras together, and work as the cushion or shock absorber between them. The joints of disc and facet allow for the movements of vertebrae so that you can bend and rotate your neck as well as back. The disc is made of a soft gel-like center “nucleus pulposus and tough outer layer “annulus fibrosus”. With ageing the disc center begins to lose water content, making the disc less effective and as the condition worsens the outer layer can also tear. It can lead to the displacement of disc’s center through a crack present in the outer layer to space which is occupied by nerves and spinal cord. The disc can press against the nerve causing excessive pain, numbness, tingling and weakness.  

Herniated Disc Diagnosis

It is not that every herniated disc causes symptoms; there are people who discover they have a herniated disc after an x-ray is conducted for some other reason. Otherwise, doctors usually advice physical and neurological exam, symptom evaluation and study of medical history. CT scan or MRI scan verifies the extent to which disc damage has been done.


Treatments of Herniated Cervical Disc

There are several cervical disc herniation treatments NY which include cold/ heat therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling, muscle relaxant, physical therapy and cervical disc herniation surgery.   Cervical Disc Herniation Surgery: Cervical disc herniation surgery is recommended if non-surgical treatments do not seem to relieve the pain or spinal cord compression is suspected. The surgery involves the removal of a disc partially so that the pressure on the nerve can be relieved.   Anterior cervical discectomy and spine fusion: This is the most reliable procedure; the disc is removed by making a small incision in front of the neck. Once it is done, disc space is fused. A plate can be added for additional stability.   Cervical artificial disc replacement: Like anterior cervical discectomy and spine fusion, this surgery involves removal of affected disc through a small incision which is made in front of the neck. In this procedure, instead of making the fusion, an artificial disc is displaced in the disc space. The objective of this cervical disc herniation treatment NY is that the artificial disc mimics the form and function of the actual disc.

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