Cervical neck surgery involves removing and replacing a cervical disc that is causing pain, WebMD states. Surgeons can achieve this with small cuts, and patients have the option of using either an artificial disc or fusing two discs to replace the lost one.
Around 10 percent of people who suffer from pain because of cervical problems need surgery, according to WebMD. When a disc pinches the nerve or presses on the spinal cord, removing it can alleviate the problem. While the patient is under an anesthetic, the surgeon either removes the disc using a small incision at the front or the back of the spine. In some cases, surgeons can make a microscopic incision and guide the procedure using a microscope.
Following the disc removal, surgeons need to restore the spine to its original height, WebMD highlights. Patients can choose between fusing two of the discs together, or replacing the lost one with an artificial disc. The artificial disc allows for better arm movement and less pain afterwards, as well as an easier recovery period. However, the surgery itself takes longer and can lead to greater blood loss. Another advantage of the artificial disc is that it causes less strain on the spine, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.