Cervical spine surgery is required when a patient is suffering from severe neck pain. However, the pain differs from one stage to another. There are different types of cervical spine surgeries and it is important to understand how the spinal cord and the neck area are affected severely that makes a patient undergo surgery.
Our neck is the part of long spinal column (backbone), which forms the base or the back of the entire body. The neck area has seven bones that are distinct from one another through intervertebral discs. These discs allow the spine part to make free movements and it also helps in absorbing shocks while performing any activity.
Causes of the neck pain: The neck pain is caused due to narrowing of the spinal canal, degeneration of disc, arthritis, or other reasons. It can also occur due to compression of spinal cord and nerves structure. It is important to know whether the neck pain has extended to such a level that a patient needs to undergo the cervical spine surgery or not.
Neck pain if accompanied by fever or headache, takes place frequently in this pattern-
- Pain Extension: Pain extending from neck to one arm and its intensity is very high.
- Tingling and Numbness: The patient will feel numbness and tingling in the arms area.
- Lack of Coordination and Control: Neck pain along with weakness in leg or feeling of heaviness in leg portion. The patient may also feel lack of coordination in arms and legs movements.
- Joint Stiffness: Stiffness in neck portion that restricts movement of your chin to the chest area.
- Bulging or Herniated Disc: When the neck pain is severe and demands surgery, it starts showing characteristics of bulging disc. The bulge starts projection out to the side of spinal cord or the cervical nerves. This may lead to the loss of coordination and control on hand and leg movements and on bowel or bladder.
- Bone Spurs: The bones will start producing spurs or osteophytes which leads to compression of spinal cord and nerves. This characteristic leads to neck pain and spinal cord dysfunction.
- Degeneration of Facet: The facet degeneration occurs when the cartilage surrounding the cervical spine bone area starts eroding away. The cartilage helps in facilitating the lubrication in the joint and enables smooth movement. However, when this cartilage erodes away it leads to bones colliding with each other, causing friction and ultimately the severe pain.
The patient who observes the above mentioned symptoms and characteristics should immediately go to the doctor. He will provide few medications and therapies. But, if the alternative doesn’t show any improvement to the pain then the doctor will suggest you to go to the surgeon for cervical spine surgery. Cervical decompression and stabilization are the surgical options to treat this severe neck pain and other related problems of spinal cord.