Why neck pain?
Degenerative symptoms in the neck region are on the rise - not only due to increasingly static working conditions like at a computer workplace but also due to whiplash injuries.
In the initial phase neck pain is often efficiently treated by manual or physiotherapy. A targeted strengthening therapy (medX / Kieser Training / FPZ) might even completely stop disease progression.
- Neck pain that can be felt in the head (headaches) or the shoulder and/or
- Pain - numbness or weakness extending from the neck to the arms, back of your hands and/or to the fingers
- Pain in your shoulder with numbness in the region of the deltoid muscle and/or a feeling of weakness or paresis when lifting your arm sideways.
The individual clinical picture mainly depends on what section of the cervical spine is affected and if and to what extent adjacent nerves are compressed by the herniated disk.
Diagnostik / Indikation
Degenerative spinal disk diseases of the cervical spine often cause permanent and severe neck pain or headaches. Diagnostic verification of the disease is possible through radiographs or MRI-Images and additional discography.
For successful treatment your symptoms must be directly correlated to findings from diagnostic imaging techniques. A thorough clinical examination in combination with imaging methods like computed tomography or magnetic resonance tomography (CT and MRI) are hence essential for a successful therapy of your spine disease.
- conservative treatment
A herniated disk in the cervical spine without paresis is usually treated conservatively with analgesic drugs and physical rest. Concomitant thermal or electrotherapy and physiotherapy can add to symptom relieve.
In persistent cases injections of local anaesthetics and corticosteroids directly at the compressed nerve root (periradicular infiltration) or at the spinal cord (peridural infiltration) may help in the short-term. Severe neurological symptoms may render a hospitalisation necessary where analgesic and anti-inflammatory infusions are given.
If after 6 to 8 weeks there is no significant relief in symptoms, a surgical therapy should be considered!
- Surgical treatment - what are the options?
One main focus of the APEX SPINE Center is the percutaneous nucleotomy (discectomy) of the cervical spine. This revolutionary surgical technique is practiced almost exclusively by Dr. Schubert.
As opposed to other common surgical procedures, where the entire disk is removed and replaced by a placeholder (Cage or artificial replacement), with this special method only the herniated material is removed under local anesthesia. The natural mobility and stability of the cervical spine is maintained.
In fact this surgical procedure is analogous to the discectomy of the lumbar spine where also only the herniated tissue is removed and not the entire disc replaced by an artificial placeholder.
f neck pain and headaches cannot be controlled by conservative therapy, an artificial disk replacement mostly is the only alternative to stiffening of the cervical vertebrae. The safe and easily manageable artificial disk replacement offers many advantages for the patient compared to the conventional fusion surgery of adjacent vertebrae. It is a relatively new technique which has readily achieved great acceptance worldwide during the past years.
After successfully testing several different artificial disks we chose the LDR disc prosthesis (Mobi-C) as standard product for our surgeries. This prosthesis has been developed by an international team of spine specialists. It is available in a great variety of sizes and patients benefit from an unrestricted mobility which is nevertheless paired with high stability.
Further Reading / Links
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