Anterior Cervical Discectomy

What Is Anterior Cervical Discectomy?

You can have pain in your neck and extremities plus other symptoms when you herniate an intervertebral disc. When the tough, outer ring of a spinal disc tears and the soft jelly-like center squeezes out, it places pressure on nerve roots or your spinal cord. Bone spurs or osteophytes, which form when the spinal joints calcify, may also cause these symptoms. Anterior cervical discectomy is a procedure that relieves pressure on nerve roots and/or the spinal cord by a herniated disc or bone spurs. This condition is called neural compression. During this procedure, the spine specialist removes disc material and part of the bone around nerve roots and spinal cord to relieve compressed structures and provide additional space. Discectomy involves removing all or part of an intervertebral disc.

Why is it done?

Pressure placed on neural structures, such as nerve roots or the spinal cord, by a herniated disc or bone spur may irritate these neural structures and cause: pain in the neck and/or arms; and lack of coordination, numbness or weakness in the arms, forearms or fingers. Pressure placed on the spinal cord as it passes through the neck (cervical spine) can be serious since most the nerves for rest of the body (e.g., arms, chest, abdomen, legs) have to pass through the neck from the brain. If you suffer from these symptoms, this procedure may be right for you. Our cervical discectomy patients come to us from Vernon, South Windsor, Manchester, Hartford, Bloomfield, Ellington and close-by communities.

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