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Neck Pain Treatments: Surgery

Neck Pain Treatments: Surgery

Neck pain that is experienced for more than two weeks to three months is typically considered chronic and may be the result of a specific neck condition, which should be explored with a spine specialist.


Depending on the cause of chronic neck pain, the symptoms experienced, the length of such symptoms, the pain involved, and the results of conservative treatments, different surgical procedures may eventually be recommended. 


Surgery may become a more realistic option when the following neck pain causes are still prevalent after a concerted effort with nonsurgical treatments has been made.  


  • Cervical Herniated Disc. This type of pain typically radiates from the neck down the arm on one side.  If the symptoms do not improve after 6 to 12 weeks of non-surgical treatments, then cervical spine surgery may merit more consideration. 
  • Cervical degenerative disc disease. For this condition, if the symptomatic neck pain has not subsided within six months of conservative care and has made daily activities much more difficult, a fusion surgery may be recommended to stop the motion of the affected cervical vertebral segment. 
  • Cervical foraminal stenosis. A discectomy may be performed to open the disc space and provide more room for the nerve root if prolonged and severe neck pain is still impairing function despite numerous attempts at conservative medical care. 
  • Cervical stenosis with myelopathy. A more involved decompression may be advised if conservative treatments do not have the desired effect on the related arm pain and lack of coordination. 
  • Cervical osteoarthritis. While producing chronic pain, cervical osteoarthritis symptoms are rarely progressive enough to require surgery; rather, they are often more effectively treated with NSAIDs, rest, traction and chiropractic manipulation. 

In this Guide:

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The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for medical advice in any way.  A licensed medical professional should be consulted for any and all medical conditions and symptoms.



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