Cervical Discectomy Surgery is a surgical procedure used to remove part of a herniated disc. In this procedure, the patient will be placed under general anesthesia. Then, the doctor will access the herniated disc in the spine of the patient, and remove part or all of the disc that causing the patient pain and discomfort.
Although cervical disc surgery is generally safe, it does have a few risks, including:
This surgery involves Trimming or removing bulging disks in your spine. It is performed when the cushion separating your vertebrae dislocates or slips out. In this procedure, the surgeon will remove the disk either completely or in parts. In some cases where the disk is fully damaged, the surgeon may even have to replace it, which is known as Disk replacement.
How long will I be in the hospital?
This varies depending on the type of surgery performed. For single, two and some three level surgeries, you will likely go home the day of the surgery. Otherwise, you will go home the day after surgery. We have found that patients generally prefer the comfort and support that home offers. Going home sooner lowers your risk for complications such as hospital-acquired wound infections, blood clots, and urinary tract infections.
How much time off from work?
The amount of time needed to recover prior to returning to work varies and depends on the surgery, your job and you as an individual. Typically, 1 week is sufficient. However, patients should ask their surgeon for an individual recommendation. For jobs requiring lifting and physical exertion, up to one month may be required.
When can I resume driving?
Driving is acceptable approximately one week after surgery depending on the use of pain medication. We generally recommend that you not drive while taking pain medications following surgery. Driving after an anterior cervical fusion must be done carefully as we do not recommend excessive turning of the head and neck.
Will I need pain medications?
We will prescribe pain medications and other pre-operative medications on the day of surgery or prior to your discharge from the surgery center or hospital.
Will I need Physical Therapy?
We usually recommend physical therapy and will refer you to a therapist at your first postoperative visit. Please limit bending and twisting of the cervical spine. No pushing, pulling, or dragging and no range of motion (ROM) exercises for 3 to 6 months or until your surgeon determines that your fusion is solid. Refrain from whiplash like motions, high impact activities such as running or horseback riding, or any radical side-to-side motions. A good rule of thumb is, ‘If it hurts don’t do it’.
What kind of follow-up is required?
Patients return to our office for routine follow up appointments at intervals that are determined on a case-by-case basis. We typically see patients back in the office within a couple weeks following surgery and then increase this to several months followed by an annual exam. Your individual needs will be determined by your surgery.