Neck pain is almost as common as lower back pain. Over 80% of individuals will experience neck pain at some point in their lives. At any given time, up to 20% of people can be dealing with symptoms related to neck problems. The most common causes of neck pain are due to posture, injury or the natural progression of arthritis and disc degeneration. Symptoms can be confined to the neck region, however arm pain, numbness and weakness are often present. Less obvious symptoms, such as hand numbness, loss of coordination and balance can also be present.
A complete history and physical examination, along with imaging are often necessary to identify the cause of the symptoms. Radiographs, CAT Scan or MRI may be warranted. In most cases, conservative management can achieve resolution of symptoms. Education, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication and different types of injections are very effective treatment options. In certain cases, surgery can be the most appropriate option to relieve symptoms, preventing permanent disability and allowing for return to an active lifestyle.
Historically, various types of fusion surgery have been used as the standard of care. These surgeries have proven to be extremely safe and effective. They are still performed today and continue to provide excellent outcomes for patients. One concern with any type of fusion procedure is the limitation of movement in the region. The spine has multiple moving levels that work together to provide the normal movement of the neck and back. Fusion at one level can impact the other levels and, in time potentially lead to problems at the other levels. Over the past several years, Cervical Disc Replacement has become a popular option for treating neck problems.
Extensive testing has shown that, under the right circumstances, Cervical Disc Replacement can be an excellent surgical option. In addition to being a minimally invasive procedure, it allows for preservation of motion, while limiting the risk of other levels wearing out.
Dr. Mark Tantorski is an orthopaedic surgeon in Chester County with subspecialty training in the surgical management of adult spinal disorders. To find out if Cervical Disc Replacement is right for you, and to schedule a consultation, contact Dr. Tantorski’s office at 610-692-6280. Dr. Tantorski believes seeing individuals for all their spinal care needs is a partnership. Patients are vital in determining the best options for care with symptom relief and getting back to doing everything they want in life as the main goals.