A cervical discectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to remove a herniated or ruptured disc in the neck, relieving spinal cord or nerve root pressure and alleviating corresponding pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling. The procedure is usually accompanied by a fusion surgery in order to stabilize the spine. This minimally invasive technique allows our surgeons to access the disc through the front of the neck as opposed to the back. The less complicated approach provides access to the entire upper portion of the spine, and typically causes less postoperative pain and a faster recovery time for patients than traditional surgery.
After the surgeon makes a one to two inch incision on the front of the neck, only one thin muscle needs to be cut to access the spine. The surgeon then removes the ruptured portion of the disc and any disc fragments that are causing pressure on the nerves. A bone graft is inserted into the empty disc space, realigning the bones.