Injuries, or aging, can create many issues with our back and spine. These issues and conditions can often be prevented or reversed with physical therapy or activity modifications. Other conditions, however, require surgical intervention to not only resolve the condition and alleviate pain but also prevent serious issues from developing.
One of the most critical areas of our spine also moves more than any other region. Along with protecting our spinal cord as it leads to the brain stem, the cervical vertebrae in the neck also support the skull and provide all of the movement for our head. This is why spine conditions in this area require specific care, and injuries or conditions tend to be serious.
Whether from a significant strain from an accident or impact or from general deterioration, the discs that separate the cervical vertebrae can become worn and, in extreme cases, torn. In general, the tissues that make up the spinal discs do not regenerate on their own, and surgical intervention is required to ensure the vertebrae remain separated.
However, some cervical disc injuries do not just affect the discs but the bone structures of the surrounding vertebrae. If these are allowed to impact or rest against each other, they can begin to wear down the walls of the bone and create significant pain. This also allows the vertebrae to slide over each other and can create significant pressure on the spinal cord.
In these cases, a spinal surgeon will remove the torn or damaged part of the disc and smooth any jagged or rough bone structures that have developed. Depending on how significant the damage to the disc is and if the bones have been allowed to contact each other, the surgeon may fuse the two vertebrae to create a single bone structure.
While this may limit mobility in some directions, it will provide the necessary protection to the spinal cord.
If you are suffering from chronic pain in your neck or spine, contact the spinal surgical team at Princeton Neurological Surgery in Hamilton, NJ, at 609-890-3400 or visit www.pincetonneurologicalsurgery.com to schedule a consultation today.