Cervical disc herniation

Written by: Dr. Luis Ley Urzaiz
Published: | Updated: 20/05/2018
Edited by: Top Doctors®

What is cervical disc herniation?

The cervical disc hernia is a displacement of the intervertebral disc in the cervical segment of the spine that will cause a compression of the nerve structures around it, either of the marrow in which case it will cause a loss of strength and ability especially in the hands or radicular of the nerve roots in which case it will cause a pain irradiated by one or both arms usually very intense. In addition, given the mechanical component of the disc, for holding and managing the cervical spine, it will cause significant pain at the level of the neck, including the nape of the neck.

What techniques are available to treat cervical disc herniation?

Surgery of the cervical spine in relation to the herniated disc is a minimally invasive surgery in any of its two main approaches that are the anterior and the posterior. The posterior is indicated mainly for root compressions, either by soft disk hernia or by the famous osteophytes.. The surgery of the herniated disc, when we go through an anterior approach, will allow us to perform arthrodesis, that is fixation of the intervertebral bodies once we have removed the disc or arthroplasties, that is, change the disc that we have removed by a mobile disk that simulates the movement of the disc that we have removed.

What are the risks of a herniated disc surgery?

Any surgery, obviously, has some risks and whenever a surgeon feels an indication is why the risks are minor or much lower than the risks of the pathology that the patient has. As we have said before, the surgery of the cervical intervertebral disc is a minimally invasive surgery therefore the risks are also few but numerically they can be important. By an earlier approach the fundamental risks are to damage the structures through which we have to go to reach the disk that is our goal. It would be the airway, the digestive tract, a nervous part, especially in relation to the recurrent nerve that can cause afonias or, the spinal cord injury that is very rare but with which it could be damaged. Regarding a later approach, the risks are minor, only a root lesion could be caused.

How much recovery time is necessary after a herniated disc intervention?

In general, recovery after cervical herniated disc surgery is small, and it is small because it is a minimally invasive surgery. In case of previous approaches, we use natural corridors so that no muscle is touched, nothing is touched, and the patient usually has an income of 24 or 48 hours and can start working again, to carry out a normal work activity in a period of 3 or 4 weeks provided that physical activity is not very demanding in your work. In case of posterior approaches it is usually a little more annoying because you have to cross the muscle through small tubes but, usually in 2 or 3 days the patient is well enough to do a more or less normal activity and also in a period of 3 or 4 weeks to return to normal life activity.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Luis Ley Urzaiz
Neurological Surgery

It is a national reference in the field. He is currently the Head of the Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal. Expert in cerebral vascular surgery, neuro-oncology, surgery of the skull base and pituitary as well as in cervical spine surgery and spinal cord injuries tumors. His experience in radiosurgery allows a comprehensive view of the neurosurgical pathology. His knowledge has led him to write several articles and works in books, and exercise as a university professor.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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