Cervical neck injuries are a literal pain in the neck, but the good news is that they don’t have to be. When conservative treatments fail, oftentimes a minimally invasive, motion preservation surgical operation can rectify the issue and get you back to a pain-free way of living. But what should you know before considering minimally invasive cervical surgery for your neck pain? Here’s a look at why the surgery is important, how it’s performed, and who would be an ideal candidate for the surgery.
What Can Motion Preservation Neck Surgery Fix?
Minimally invasive surgery can fix a number of different issues in your neck. Dr. Sinicropi has performed minimally invasive operations to address conditions like:
- Cervical Neck Pain or Impingement
- Herniated or Bulging Discs
- Spinal Stenosis
- Spinal Fractures
- Cervical Spondylosis
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Cervical Lesions or Tumors
Motion preservation surgery is preferred to the traditional open procedure for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s less taxing on the patient, which leads to smaller incision sites, and it leads to reduced recovery times. Not only that, but minimally invasive neck surgery is considered safer than a traditional operation, as it’s been associated with a reduced risk of bleeding, infection or nerve damage.
Who Is a Candidate, and How Is Surgery Performed?
Considering that minimally invasive spine surgery has so many benefits over an open operation, why hasn’t it completely replaced the traditional open technique? Well for starters, not every procedure can be performed with just a few small incisions and a camera. In a similar fashion, not everyone is an ideal candidate for minimally invasive neck surgery. The ideal candidate for minimally invasive neck surgery is under the age of 70, lives an active lifestyle, follows a healthy diet, doesn’t smoke, has no or a few controllable comorbidities (like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.), and has tried and failed to achieve relief through conservative care techniques. You don’t need to check all those boxes, but if aren’t able to say yes to a number of those factors, motion preservation surgery may not be right for you.
The specifics of motion preservation neck surgery will depend on the exact procedure you are undergoing, but in general, here’s a rundown of what to expect. The operation will begin with you lying on the operating table on your back or stomach, depending on whether the doctor is using an anterior or posterior approach. You will then receive anesthesia and will be in a sleep-like state for the procedure.
The surgeon will then make a small incision on your neck in order to access the problem area. With the help of some small tools and specialized retractors the doctor will reach the surgical location with minimal dissection. The surgeon will then perform the necessary operation, ensure the spine is stabilized and the nerves are decompressed and then remove their tools. The small incision site is then closed with sutures, and the patient is sent to a recovery room. Oftentimes, the minimally invasive procedure can be performed in less than an hour.
For more information about motion preservation neck surgery, or to talk with a surgeon about your neck issues, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi today.