Your cervical spine, the seven bones in your neck, are small, flexible, and strong, allowing you to hold up your head and move it with ease. But even the most minor variation in the relationship between the bones in your neck can cause pain and restrict mobility. Neck pain is a common complaint that brings patients to The Spine Center of Baton Rouge in Baton Rouge, Walker, and Prairieville, Louisiana where effective treatment is available.
Neck pain occurs for a variety of reasons, but it is often tied to the discs in the neck. Over time, those discs start to deteriorate naturally, which leads to spondylosis (cervical disc degeneration). There may be other reasons for damaged discs in the neck area as well, including auto accidents or other types of sudden injury.
In some cases, neck pain is short term and will resolve after a few hours or days. This includes situations like sleeping in an awkward and unnatural position. Chronic conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia can also be the cause of neck pain. Poor posture can lead to neck pain, as well. Your The Spine Center of Baton Rouge physician is highly experienced in pinpointing the source of neck pain and will discuss your surgical and non-surgical options to alleviate neck pain.
The type of surgery needed to resolve neck pain depends on the specific cause of the pain. When the pain is a result of a damaged disc, a procedure like decompressive laminectomy may relieve the pain and pressure. If the disc is highly damaged and can't be salvaged, a disc replacement procedure may be a good solution. If a cervical disc is removed and is not replaced, a fusion procedure can permanently connect the vertebrae, which will prevent pain in the future.
The recovery after neck surgery is very much specific to the individual person and the specific procedure. Patients will usually be able to leave the hospital in a few days with a minimally invasive procedure, with a slightly longer stay for the more complex neck surgeries. In cervical disc replacement, it will take some time for the new disc to become fully integrated. Patients should be careful to follow all of the doctor's guidelines closely so that their healing is complete. Most people can start to ease back into their usual routine fairly quickly, but all strenuous movements must be avoided. Your dedicated doctor will discuss the recovery process if neck surgery is deemed necessary.