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Posterior Cervical Discectomy

February 14, 2012 32983 No of hits
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Posterior Cervical Discectomy

Posterior cervical discectomy is the removal of a spinal disc in the neck through an incision in the back of the neck, a method known as a posterior approach. The neck is made up of seven vertebrae called the cervical spine. When a disc in the cervical spine ruptures it is called a herniated disc and causes neck pain accompanied by numbness and tingling that radiates down the arms. This can be further complicated by bone spurs that will accumulate around the herniated disc.

The advantage to performing a posterior cervical discectomy is that bone grafting is not required on the spine after the removal of the disc, as is the case with an anterior (frontal) approach. The surgery itself involves a small incision over the herniated neck disc. The surgeon then moves muscle and tissue away from the area to expose the vertebrae and takes an X-ray to ensure he is at the proper disc. This region has a network of veins and nerves that must be carefully navigated. Once the disc is exposed he will remove the herniated section of the disc and return muscles, nerves, and veins to their proper locations and close the incision.

Though the absence of bone grafting is an advantage in one sense, it can also be a disadvantage in that the disc space is not enlarged as much so it does not give the nerve root as much space where it exits the spine. A second disadvantage is that this procedure does not remove the entire disc, so the portion that remains has a small chance of herniation in the future.

This procedure has a high success rate and rare complications. Possible complications a patient must consider are nerve root and spinal cord damage, leakage around the spinal cord, infection, pain, and recurring herniation of the disc.

Tags:   Posterior cervical discectomy   Cervical spine   Herniated disc   Bone grafting  

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Posterior Cervical Discectomy

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Posterior cervical discectomy is the removal of a spinal disc in the neck through an incision in the back of the neck, a method known as a posterior approach. The neck is made up of seven vertebrae called the cervical spine. When a disc in the cervical spine ruptures it is called a herniated disc...

By: Richard Martine Created 74 months ago

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