Understanding Cervical Radiculopathy and the Treatment Options

doctors performing surgeryWhen cervical radiculopathy worsens despite following nonsurgical treatment methods, your doctor has no other choice but to recommend a surgery. This next step aims to relieve the symptoms by getting rid of the pressure on or decompressing compressed nerves around the neck area.

A cervical spine specialist in Hurst, TX explains that this procedure may involve removing soft tissues or bone pieces. The Cervical Spine Institute notes that the three common surgical options include Artificial Disk Replacement (ADR), Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF), and Posterior Cervical Laminoforaminotomy (PCL).

ADR

During this procedure, the doctor will remove the compressed disc and replace it with artificial parts. Disc replacement aims to allow spinal segments flexibility and a maintain normal motion. The implant is typically made of metal, plastic, or both, which acts to restore vertebral height and widen passageways for the nerves to exit your spinal cord.

ACDF

This procedure involves removing the bone spurs and problematic discs to restore the disc space to its original height. The length of incision will depend on your condition. The doctor will then use spinal fusion to stabilize the spine.

PCL

Your doctor will make a small incision at midline on the back of your neck through which he or she will thin down the lamina to access the damaged nerves. He will then remove the compressed tissues and the compressing disc. Unlike in ACDF, your doctor doesn’t have to use spinal fusion.

The surgical treatment procedure that your doctor will recommend will depend on several factors, with the most significant ones being the type of the problem and its location. Other factors will include the doctor’s level of professional experience, you and your doctor’s preference, your medical history, and your general health.

Before signing up for any of the three procedures, make you are on the same page with your doctor regarding what is best for you.