What is Cervical Spine Surgery?
Cervical Spine Surgery is a medical procedure which aims at lessening pain, weakness, tingling and numbness associated with the cervical spine, which is a summation of seven vertebrae. The surgery also looks into the matter of correcting deformities in the spine function and helps to restore a proper level of nerve function.
When is it necessary to have Cervical Spine Surgery?
The need of a Cervical Spine Surgery arises when a degenerative disease or deformity takes place. Due to deformities or degenerative disease, the intervertebral disc contracts and thus causes breaking down of the disc. The breaking down may also lead to disc herniation, also known as bulging of the disc. As a result of degeneration disease, a patient tends to feel pain, numbness, weakness and stinging. The surgery is beneficial for alleviating anxiety on the spinal cord.
Who should consider Cervical Spine Surgery?
The most common symptoms of cervical spine herniation are numbness, stinging, weakness and significant pain in arms and hand. If all these conditions do not improve with physical therapy and medication, you will be recommended for Cervical Spine Surgery.
Spine Disorders and Treatments
Also known as Degenerative Disc Disease, Spondylosis is a gradual wear and tear of the disc of the vertebrae. It is a very common disorder affecting 40-50% of people in the age group of 40 and above. Most commonly, it occurs in the lumbar spine ( lower back). Due to this deformity, the discs contract and lose their normal height. In very rare cases, DDD requires surgery. There are several non-surgical treatments such as anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy. A prosthetic disc can be inserted in place of the spine at the level of the degenerated disc.
It is a condition wherein the inter and delicate part of the disc swell outward due to a weakness in the external surface of the disc. The symptoms that occur in this condition include back pain, pin pricks and aching in the arm or leg. There are two treatments for this disorder- Disc replacement and Keyhole surgery, also known as microdiscectomy spine surgery. It is performed when there is prolapsed disc in the lower back.
It is an anomalous condition wherein one vertebra bends down over another vertebra. In most cases, this forward slippage of the vertebra takes place in the lumbar area ( lower back) of the spine. Such kind of disc slippage creates pressure on the nerve roots linked with the diseased vertebrae, causing soreness and dysfunction. There are three types of Spondylolisthesis- Congenital, Isthmic and Degenerative.
The normal structure of a spine is a straight column from the front and normal curves from the sides. In certain situations, the front side of the spine shows curvatures and this condition is known as scoliosis. Due to this disease, the spine gets curved in the shape of “S” or “C”. The most common type of curvature is Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. The surgical treatment is recommended when the curvature is of greater size. It is done with the help of instrumentation which reduces the size of the malformation and getting fusion to avoid future curve.
Any kind of abnormal growth in the spine, whether cancerous or not, can intrude on nerves and cause pain, neurological disorders and paralysis as well. Its symptoms include muscle weakness, difficulty in walking and loss of bladder function. The treatment for this disorder is Total Spondylectomy, which is done to remove the entire vertebrae as a perfect curve.
When there is a damage in the spinal cord due to a trauma or accident, loss of normal blood supply and contraction from tumor, it is known as a spinal cord. There are two types of spine injuries- complete or incomplete. While complete injuries stop functioning below the injury level, in incomplete injury, some functions remains below the injury level. The surgery is performed to stabilize the spine.
There is also a revision surgery which depends upon the type of problem a patient goes through. This procedure includes operation on both front and back part of the neck.
Spine Surgery and Procedures
There are two types of surgeries- Decompression and Stabilization. In decompression technique, the tissue intruding on the nerve structure is removed. It can be performed on both the front and back portion. The procedure includes Anterior Cervical Decompression, Posterior Cervical Decompression and Posterior Cervical Laminectomy. In the stabilization procedure, the treatment restricts movement between the vertebrae. Anterior Cervical Spinal Fusion Surgery and Anterior Cervical Corpectomy Spine Surgery are the two Decompression surgeries.
After Cervical Spine Surgery
The outcome of cervical spine surgeries is phenomenally great. Patients generally have a fast recovery and quickly returns to activities of daily life. Patients must be aware of the fact that the chances of having long-term pain increase with revision surgery.
The cost difference is huge for cervical spine surgery in developed countries and developing & underdeveloped countries. The all inclusive cost of a combined Spinal decompression and fusion surgery in India is $ 6500 which is 1/6th of what is charged in the U.S.A and U.K. The benefits in India are that state of the art facilities, expert surgeons and all the facilities are available in this country.