When upper neck pain becomes chronic and unbearable, some people consider undergoing surgical operations to find relief. It’s a major procedure that can potentially solve the problem, especially for those with severe radiculopathy on the neck or spinal cord dysfunction. But is it a good option for those with neck pain due to bad posture and neck trauma?
Is it worthy of including in your neck pain management plan? But, more importantly, can it provide better relief than other procedures used for neck pain like NUCCA chiropractic? To help you understand if a neck operation is a good fit for you, we thought of discussing some critical points for consideration.
Who Needs a Neck Surgery?
Surgical intervention is rarely the first choice of people experiencing chronic upper neck pain (or any other type of pain). That’s because it can come with a few complications, depending on your overall health and existing conditions.
However, there are plenty of neck pain cases that do require immediate attention from a neck surgeon. Otherwise, the patient risks suffering from worse pain and tissue damage.
Here are some criteria you can use as your guide to deciding whether you should try getting cervical spine surgery:
- Your pain arises from bone spurs or herniated discs
- You have excess pressure on your cervical nerve roots
- You have an irritated or compressed spinal cord
- You have a broken neck or cervical fracture
It might also help to undergo a surgical operation if other neck pain remedies no longer work for you. This could indicate that your pain has a serious underlying cause that might only get resolved after neck surgery.
What Are The Potential Risks of Getting a Neck Surgery?
Any surgical operation can come with a certain level of risks, depending on the areas of concern. Getting acquainted with these will help you make an informed decision about your health and set realistic expectations.
As for neck surgeries, doctors and researchers note the following possible complications:
- Abnormal bleeding or bruising
- Increased risk for heart attack, stroke, or spinal cord damage
- Bladder or sexual organ dysfunction
- Cerebral spinal fluid leakage
- Incomplete spinal fusion
- Paralysis in the arm muscles due to C5 Palsy
- Increased risk for dislodged plates or screws in the new
- Trouble swallowing or breathing due to damaged arteries or esophagus
According to a study, neck surgery complications rarely happen. That’s because doctors conduct a comprehensive assessment of the neck pain problem before providing patients with options to choose from.
We highly recommend talking to your neck surgeon about such complications or other concerns to help ease your mind or understand what step you need to alleviate your upper neck pain.
What Are The Different Neck Surgery Options?
Now that you’re a bit acquainted with the risks involved when undergoing cervical surgery, you can explore the potential types of surgical procedures that your doctor might recommend for you. Some of the usual types of neck surgery procedures used by doctors today include the following:
ACDF or Anterior Cervical Diskectomy and Fusion
Patients with spinal cord compression or pinched nerve typically undergo an ACDF procedure to address the problem. It involves the surgical removal of bone spurs that may be the ultimate culprit behind your pain. Then, the surgeon performs a spinal fusion to provide ample support to the corrected structure.
Upper cervical misalignments can lead to a painful neck because the bones put unintended pressure on the nerve roots and spinal cord. Generally, receiving NUCCA chiropractic adjustments can significantly reduce the level of discomfort you experience.
However, sometimes, the pressure comes from other tissues in the body, such as a herniated disc, dysfunctional ligaments, or bone spurs. In such a case, you might find tremendous relief from undergoing a surgical operation called a laminectomy. This procedure aims to give your spinal cord more wiggle room to prevent it from getting pinched by nearby bones or tissues.
ADR or Artificial disc replacement
A pinched nerve in the neck sometimes calls for an ADR or Artificial Disc Replacement. The process mainly involves inserting an artificial implant on the affected disc. Unlike other types of neck surgeries, ADR focuses on retaining the upper body’s flexibility and your neck’s ability to move as smoothly (and as pain-free) as possible.
Cervical spinal fusion
Earlier in the ACDF neck surgery, we talked about spinal fusion and its support to the neck after the procedure. Besides helping patients recover from neck surgery, a spinal fusion also comes in handy for those with severe neck fractures. That’s because this process aims to join two vertebrates (the affected ones) into a single bone to strengthen the structure of your spinal column so it can support the weight of your head correctly.
A Proven Non-invasive Alternative for Upper Neck Pain Relief
As an ailing patient with a painful neck, it’s normal to have second thoughts about undergoing a surgical operation. After all, with the risks, costs, and other factors involved, you want to know if it’s a worthy choice.
But, as we have established in the discussion above, surgeries come with a risk of complications. Therefore, it’s crucial to undergo routine assessments to determine your potential risks and know if it may be better to seek a less invasive approach to neck pain relief such as NUCCA chiropractic.
The NUCCA method of upper cervical chiropractic has been among the leading choices of patients complaining of chronic neck pain problems. It’s a promising procedure that delivers results by correcting the faulty alignment of your upper cervical spine. It involves applying slow and well-calculated adjustments on the misaligned upper neck bones over a specific length of time.
Want to put an end to your upper neck pain with a non-invasive alternative to neck surgery? A local NUCCA chiropractic doctor can help you. Locate the nearest clinic you can visit for an upper cervical chiropractic adjustment today!