Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease

Cervical degenerative disc disease can develop as bones in the neck age and form bone spurs. These spurs then can pinch the spinal cord or other nerves. The result can be pain in the neck or arms and weakness in the arms and legs.

The discs throughout your spine are doughnut-shaped, spongy cushions that fit between each vertebra to absorb shock and tie the vertebrae together to ease bending and twisting.

Nonsurgical treatments often can relieve pain from cervical degenerative disc disease.

The combined team of orthopedic spine and neuroscience specialists at Norton Leatherman spine has internationally recognized expertise in cervical degenerative disorders, including cervical degenerative disc disease. Their expertise and training allow them to know when surgery isn’t needed and when, as a last resort, it’s the only option to relieve debilitating pain.

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Neck and back pain making things uncomfortable? Complete our Back and Neck Pain Assessment to see if it’s time to see a Norton Leatherman Spine provider.

Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease Symptoms

  • Neck pain that’s typically low-grade with stiffness, but occasionally can be severe
  • Pain that radiates to the upper back and shoulder blades
  • Radiculopathy, or pain that radiates into one or both arms and is caused by compression and inflammation of a nerve
  • Numbness and tingling that radiates into the arms, hands and fingers; can interfere with daily activities, such as holding objects or dressing

Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment

With a combination of nonsurgical, surgical and innovative techniques, we can help relieve neck and arm pain, allowing you to move more easily. If the bone spurs are pressing on the spinal cord, surgery may relieve the pressure and prevent symptoms from worsening.

Nonsurgical Treatment Options

  • Observation may be an option for minor cervical degenerative disorders that aren’t getting worse or causing significant difficulties. Observation includes visits at regular intervals to ensure the condition isn’t progressing.
  • Prescription medication can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Physical therapy and occupational therapy can improve symptoms.
  • Injections can treat pain and reduce swelling.

Surgical Options for Severe Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease

Your physician may recommend surgery if the condition causes pain or weakness, or if it worsens.

  • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
  • Cervical disc replacement
  • Posterior cervical decompression and/or fusion
  • Computer-assisted navigation and robotic-assisted surgery provides high precision for complex cervical spine surgery.

About Norton Leatherman Spine

Norton Leatherman Spine is a combined team of orthopedic spine surgeons, neurosurgeons and pain management specialists who provide care for adults and children from Louisville and Southern Indiana, as well as from across the region, nation and world.

  • A multidisciplinary team of 45 specialists offers a comprehensive array of treatment options that include medication, pain management, rehabilitation and surgery, including minimally invasive procedures and neurosurgical therapies.
  • Norton Leatherman Spine physicians are widely renowned and exceptionally experienced, performing more than 4,000 surgeries a year.
  • Our specialists are internationally recognized leaders in clinical research of spinal disease, injury and deformity, and have served in senior positions in the Scoliosis Research Society, the most prestigious organization for scoliosis surgeons around the world.
  • Norton Healthcare is the first health system in the nation to be recognized as an Advanced Orthopedic & Spine Center of Excellence by DNV.
  • We use the EOS Imaging system, which collects high-resolution images while exposing the patient to 50% to 85% less radiation than traditional X-rays and 95% less than basic CT scans. The system is especially beneficial to scoliosis patients who often need repeated imaging to monitor their progress.
  • We accept Medicare, Medicaid and most major commercial insurance plans.
  • Use Norton MyChart to communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions, get alerted if an earlier appointment becomes available and more, anytime from a mobile device or computer

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