There are 7 vertebrae in your neck region. Between these vertebrae, there are structures that we call disc which absorb the load on vertebral column and contributes to our neck movements. Compression of the spinal cord or the spinal nerves is called the cervical disc herniation. The compression is caused by disc that occurs herniation by leaving its location.
WHO IS THE CERVICAL DISC HERNIATION SEEN? WHO HAS MORE RISK OF HAVING THE CERVICAL DISC HERNIATION?
Statistically, the cervical disc herniation is most commonly seen between 20-40 years of age. The incidence is slightly higher in males than females. There is a greater risk of having cervical disc herniation in people who work continuously looking at the screen, lift heavy loads, constantly lean forward, exercise unconscious and uncontrolled, have had accidents and injuries. In office workers and people who work continuously looking at the screen for a long time, a decrease in lordosis, also known as straightening of cervical spine due to the incorrect posture position, occurs. The load distribution in the cervical vertebrae becomes distorted due to the straightening of cervical spine, and this disturbed load distribution is the most important reason for the development of the cervical disc herniation.
WHAT ARE THE CERVICAL DISC HERNIATION SYMPTOMS? HOW IS THE CERVICAL DISC HERNIATION DIAGNOSED? WHAT ARE THE CERVICAL DISC HERNIATION TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Symptoms and findings vary according to the location and degree of damage belong to affected nerve. The most typical and most common symptom is neck and arm pain. Other than these; numbness and pain in one or two arm, loss of strength in hands or arms, pain spreading to the back or the front of the chest, pain in one or both shoulder areas and difficulty walking and unsteady walking when compression of spinal cord is severe, can be seen in patients.
The cervical disc herniation is diagnosed by physician examination and assistive imaging methods. Direct radiograph gives information about neck angle, and osteophytes which are known as calcification. Bone morphology is seen more detailed in computed tomography, and if calcification is present, it can be seen whether or not calcification occurs compression on the spinal cord. The he cervical disc herniation's definitive diagnosis and degree are placed by MRI.
The treatment of every cervical disc herniation is not surgery. According to the degree of the hernia and the complaints of the patient it is possible in the treatment without surgery. Physiotherapy exercises after the acute pain period, drug therapy, physical therapy, benefit the vast majority of patients. The operation decision on the cervical disc herniation is made according to the complaint of the patient and the degree of hernia in MRI. The large size of the hernia on the MRI alone is not enough to make a surgery decision. The complaints of the patient are the most important to decide which treatment should be done. If there is a loss of strength in the arms, difficulty walking and unsteady walking, the surgery should be performed without losing time.
SURGICAL OPTIONS IN THE CERVICAL DISC HERNIATION
The cervical disc herniation surgery is performed under the microscope as it is in the the lumbar disc herniation. An incision of about 3-3.5 cm in the right anterior part of neck is made and the hernia is repaired under the microscope after the anatomical structures are passed. A special material called prosthesis or Cage is placed in the cavities formed after the repair of the hernia. The duration of the surgery is about 1-1.5 hours. The patient can walk 4-6 hours after the surgery and can be discharged on the same day or the next day. The most frequently asked question is whether hernia will have postoperative recurrence. There is no possibility of recurrent hernia from the operated level. Office workers can return to work after about 1 week and patients who have heavy jobs can return work after about 2 weeks. In cervical disc herniation, the surgical attempt is rarely performed from back. Surgical attempt can be rarely performed from the back for hernias, which occur at or around the spinal nerves point of exit.