About Cervical Herniated Disc
Herniation of a disc is an abnormal spine condition characterized by leakage of the inner contents of the intervertebral disc, due to cracks in its outer wall. A herniated disc found in the cervical or neck region is called a cervical herniated disc (CHD). CHD is followed by arm or neck pain that may arise due to compression of the spinal nerves by the protruding disc material. This condition is reported in people between 30-40 years of age as well as seniors. Treatment of CHD begins with conservative (nonsurgical) methods, as reports show that around 90% of patients may return to regular activity by employing these interventions for at least six weeks. The patients who are not experiencing benefits from conservative interventions are recommended for surgery.
The leading causes and risk factors involved in the development of cervical herniated disc are advanced age, trauma or injury, sudden neck movements, smoking and genetic factors. The usual symptoms associated with the cervical herniated disc are pain and numbness in the neck, shoulders, chest, arms, and hands, followed by weakness in the associated region.
- The well-established nonsurgical interventions for CHD include adequate rest, massage of the neck, ice or heat compression, physical therapy, strengthening exercises, chiropractic care, and medications, including epidural steroid injections. Also, widely accepted holistic therapies such as acupuncture, acupressure, and nutritional supplements are also extensively used.
- We recommend surgery for patients who are not responding to nonsurgical measures. Moreover, numerous other factors such as patient age, other medical conditions, previous neck surgeries, and duration of suffering are considered, before deciding to have surgery. Highly advanced surgical techniques such as anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), artificial disc replacement and posterior cervical discectomy, have shown tremendous results and explore a new era of cervical herniated disc treatment. Due to further advancement in technology, the discectomy is performed through minimally invasive techniques that employ a small incision for the operation. These advanced techniques have diminished recovery time, followed by an improved success rate.