cervical herniated disc treatment

Spine treatment options for Cervical Herniated Disc

Episodes of stiffness in the neck, loss of neck mobility, or sharp shooting pain radiating from the neck to shoulders (and down into the hands) are usually due to cervical spine problems. 

Most of the time, these problems are resolved with conservative treatment methods or therapies. However, if the condition does not improve with conservative approaches, surgery for cervical herniated disc treatment in Dubai may be an appropriate option. 

Aim of cervical herniated disc surgery 

Cervical disc surgery aims to remove or replace the damaged disc and ensure the spinal cord and nerve roots are decompressed. As a result, the procedure alleviates the pain that radiates to the arm (associated with muscle spasms, numbness, and weakness in the arms). 

What is the procedure for cervical herniated disc surgery in Dubai?

Dr Sherief assesses the patient’s complaint, duration of symptoms, examination findings, and investigation findings to come up with a treatment plan.

Investigations typically include X-ray and MRI of the cervical spine, and occasionally nerve conduction studies (NCS) / electromyography (EMG). 

Initial treatment may involve anti-inflammatory medications and physiotherapy. 

If a patient has weakness associated with their arm pain, surgery is offered as an option. Similarly if a patient has signs of spinal cord compression such as loss of balance or bladder/bowel dysfunction, surgery is offered providing the MRi images match up with the patient’s complaint. 

Surgery to remove a cervical disc prolapse is largely done front the front, though some surgeons offer surgeries from the back (posterior approach). 

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)

In this method, the herniated disc is accessed through the front of the neck. An incision is made through the front of the neck and the spine is carefully approached. The herniated disc is removed, and a prosthetic spacer graft is inserted in its place so that the adjacent vertebrae naturally grows and fuses into one vertebra.

Cervical disc replacement / cervical arthroplasty

Similar to an ACDF procedure, the spine is approached from the front. Instead of placing a fusion cage however, Dr Sherief will insert a disc replacement. 

ACDF is an operation that has a track-record of many decades. Cervical disc replacements, in the latest research, are shown to be at least as good as ACDF procedures, though we do not yet have studies with the same length of time following surgery.

What To Expect From Surgery?

  • Both surgeries are aimed at relieving severe arm symptoms – pain, pins and needles and numbness
  • Typically patients are in hospital for one night
  • Surgery has very high patient satisfaction rates for arm symptoms, less so for neck pain

Precautions After Surgery

  • Postoperatively, you will need to avoid strenuous activities for several weeks
  • Those who have an ACDf can return to playing contact sports eg rugby at 12 months following surgery, assuming no ongoing problems

Dr. Sherief Elsayed is one of the most reputed, skilled, and experienced spine surgeons in Dubai. Call 8001999 today to book an appointment. 

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