A cervical discectomy is surgery to take out damaged tissue from the discs in the neck area of the spine. You might also have bone growths (spurs) pressing on the nerves. Both of these conditions can cause pain in your back. The surgery takes pressure off the nerves.
The doctor will take out tissue through a small cut in your neck. This cut is called an incision. It may be on the front of your neck, or it may be along your spine on the back of your neck. If the incision is at the front of your neck, your doctor will put in a small piece of bone between the vertebrae. Small plates and screws may be used to keep the bones in place. If the incision is at the back of your neck, the extra piece of bone often isn't needed.
You will likely stay in the hospital 1 or 2 days. It may take up to 8 weeks to get back to your usual activities.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: March 21, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & A. Evan Eyler, MD, MPH - Family Medicine, Psychiatry
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