What Is Neck Pain?
Neck pain, also called cervical pain, is a common affliction that can be caused by conditions like degenerative disc disease, whiplash and other neck injuries, a pinched or inflamed nerve or a herniated disc. Neck pain can present as a dull ache in the neck, inability to move the head, shooting pains, tingling, numbness and dizziness, problems swallowing, enlarged lymph nodes and head, shoulder, back and facial pain.
How Is Neck Pain Treated?
Treatment for neck pain includes traction, muscle relaxants, a neck collar, massage, ultrasound treatments, antibiotics, exercise, physical therapy, pain medication, acupuncture and applications of heat and cold. If the neck pain is caused by an inflamed nerve in the epidural space, an epidural injection of anti-inflammatory and steroidal medications may reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
If these treatments don’t bring pain relief, the only other option is neck surgery. Until recently, the surgical treatment for neck pain was open neck surgery. Because of its highly invasive nature, open neck surgery is considered a last resort when less invasive treatments have been ineffective.
What’s Involved In Traditional Open Neck Surgery?
A common cause of neck pain is cervical disk herniation. In addition to neck pain, a cervical disk herniation may produce numbness, weakness and stiffness. Traditional open neck surgery involves making a large incision in the neck, moving the food tube and voice box, removing the herniated disk and performing fusion. Open neck surgery requires several days as a hospital inpatient, and healing can take up to one year. The recovery period could involve problems swallowing, hoarseness, stiffness at the site of the fusion and significant scarring. If the remaining disks don’t heal properly, the neck pain can continue, and additional neck surgery may be necessary.
Are There Less Invasive Surgical Treatments For Neck Pain?
Yes. The Cervical Endoscopic Surgical System (CESSYS), for example, is a new, non-invasive and cutting edge technology that can be used to perform neck surgery and relieve pain without the risks, discomfort and long recovery time associated with open neck surgery.
How Does The Cervical Endoscopic Surgical System Work?
With CESSYS, a video camera is inserted into the spine so the surgeon can easily find and extract the herniated part of a disk. This procedure is performed using very small instruments and guided by x-ray. The surgery requires only a small incision, so the surrounding tissues are not damaged. There is minimal pain, a much shorter recovery time and no overnight hospital stay.
If you suffer from neck pain that has not been relieved by nonsurgical treatments, schedule a consultation with Dr. Carl Spivak at Executive Spine Surgery to see if the Cervical Endoscopic Surgical System would be an appropriate treatment for your case.