Understanding the Different Procedures for Treating Neck Pain

Understanding the Different Procedures for Treating Neck Pain

Fighting a pain in your neck? You’re not alone. Approximately 80% of people experience neck pain at some point in their lifetime. And for 20%-50% of them, it becomes an annual problem. Fortunately, the right treatment can make your symptoms a distant memory.

As a neurosurgeon, Dr. Arien Smith specializes in spine disorders, including those that trigger acute or chronic neck pain. If you have neck pain, here are a few ways Dr. Smith and the team at Brain and Spine Institute of New York and New Jersey could help.

Why an accurate diagnosis matters

Your neck is the cervical portion of your spine. This topmost area of your spinal column supports your head and contains: 

With so many delicate components, several things can trigger pain symptoms in this area of your body. Similarly, each of these areas can sustain different types of damage, disease, or degeneration. As a result, you need an accurate diagnosis in order to find the most effective and lasting treatment strategy.

Dr. Smith can help isolate the precise cause of your neck pain by performing a comprehensive examination and assessing your symptoms. Based on your evaluation, he could also order additional diagnostic testing, such as an MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or nerve conduction velocity (NCV) study.

After identifying the cause of your neck pain, Dr. Smith recommends treatment strategies — either nonsurgical or surgical, depending on what can best address the problems in your neck.

Nonsurgical treatments for neck pain

In most cases, soft tissue injuries like strains and sprains respond to nonsurgical therapies. These typically include:

However, for structural problems in the cervical spine — like herniated discs or spinal stenosis — Dr. Smith often suggests surgical procedures.

Surgical treatments for neck pain

Whenever possible, Dr. Smith treats neck pain with nonsurgical treatments. Yet when your symptoms fail to respond to conservative methods, or if you have damage that requires repair, surgery often provides the best results.

Dr. Smith performs both adult and pediatric spinal surgeries at several top-tier hospitals in the New York and New Jersey area. Here are four different surgical procedures he uses to relieve neck pain.

Anterior cervical discectomy

Dr. Smith performs this surgery to relieve pressure on your spinal cord or a nerve root causing pain, numbness, weakness, or tingling. To do this, he removes the damaged disc material and bone spurs triggering your symptoms. Sometimes, he also fuses a bone graft from a cadaver or your pelvis to stabilize the area.

This procedure can help with herniated discs, bone spurs, degenerative disc disease, and spinal stenosis.

Artificial disc surgery

During artificial disc replacement, Dr. Smith restores the form and function of your intervertebral disc with an artificial component. This procedure relieves nerve compression in the area and maintains function in the cervical spine along with range of motion. 

Dr. Smith often uses this surgery to treat cervical disc problems triggering chronic neck pain along with other symptoms such as arm pain or weakness.

Cervical laminoplasty

If you have neck pain from spinal stenosis, cervical laminoplasty could offer a solution. This procedure eliminates the pressure on the spinal cord and nerves that develops when the spinal canal grows narrow.

During cervical laminoplasty, Dr. Smith cuts the vertebra and hinges it on one side, so it can swing like a door. This creates space for the spinal cord and nerves instantly, providing immediate symptom relief.

Cervical corpectomy

If you have neck pain from severe degenerative changes in your vertebrae, Dr. Smith could recommend a cervical corpectomy. This procedure relieves dangerous amounts of pressure on the spinal cord and nerves by completely removing the degenerated vertebrae and replacing them with bone graft material.

Get relief for your neck pain

These are just a few ways Dr. Smith can help relieve your neck pain. To learn more about your treatment options, contact the Brain and Spine Institute of New York and New Jersey office near you by calling or booking an appointment online today.

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