What Are My Options for Cervical Spine Surgery?

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In the cervical spine, we really have three options. One is a cervical discectomy, which is where we remove the entire disc and place a piece of bone in its place decompressing the spinal cord and nerve root followed by a little and to your cervical plate. The other option is, depending upon the kind of patient that you are, and how old you are, you may be a candidate for cerviical disc replacement, which is where we do the same removal of the disc, but instead of fusing the spine together we allow it to continue to move through a prosthetic or artificial disc, very much like you might have with a knee or hip, and there's a sub-group of people who have a special kind of herniation that's way off to the side that you may be a candidate for something called a foraminotomy, which is where we take the disk out from the back like we do in the lumbar spine, but that's a real minority of patients.

The most patients in the cervical spine will either get the anterior discectomy and fusion or a disc replacement.