Cervical Radiculopathy (Herniated Disc in the Neck)

A herniated disc in the neck occurs when one of the seven cervical discs that provide cushion between each vertebra starts putting pressure on a nerve root, or worse, the spine.

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

Discs are made of cartilage that holds a jellylike substance. If the cartilage tears and leaks, the condition is called herniation, also known as a ruptured disc or slipped disc.

The combined team of orthopedic spine and neuroscience specialists at Norton Leatherman spine

is the premier destination for patients in Louisville, Southern Indiana and beyond with herniated disc in the neck, also known as cervical radiculopathy or a pinched nerve in the neck.

Our skilled physicians have the experience to identify the correct treatment for a broad range of spinal conditions — including the most complicated issues — as well as neck pain and arm pain that affect many patients every day.

Our specialists know surgery isn’t right for everyone. If simpler treatments don’t work, and relief will come only from an operation, you’ll want surgeons at the leading edge of technology, using minimally invasive procedures.

Symptoms of a Herniated Disc in the Neck

Lumbar disc herniation refers to this condition in the lower back and tends to cause pain in the back and legs.

With a combination of nonsurgical, surgical and innovative techniques, we can help relieve a herniated disc in the neck.

Nonsurgical Treatment for Disc Herniation in the Neck

  • Our physicians will recommend observation for minor herniated disc symptoms 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

Severe disc herniation in the neck may be treated with surgery if the condition causes pain or weakness, or if it worsens.

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) or Cervical Disc Arthroplasty (CDA)

New advances allow for minimally invasive approaches with less recovery time and less postoperative pain. Surgery reduces pain and restores function by removing bone and ligament overgrowth or disc material compressing the nerves.

The expertise of our surgeons helps us choose the right procedure the first time, minimizing the risk for complications or additional surgery.

Posterior Cervical Laminotomy/Foraminotomy

Depending on your case, our surgeons may perform a minimally invasive discectomy or laminotomy to remove the part of the herniated disc in your neck causing pain.

In a minimally invasive procedure, we make small incisions through which we can remove the herniated disc. This relieves pressure on the nerve and helps relieve pain.

A smaller incision means you can get back on your feet faster and resume living your life. Patients typically go home the day after surgery.

About Norton Leatherman Spine

Norton Leatherman Spine is a combined team of orthopedic spine surgeons, neurosurgeons from Norton Neuroscience Institute 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.

  • The multidisciplinary team incorporates expertise from a variety of specialties to offer a comprehensive array of treatment options that include minimally invasive and nonsurgical therapies.
  • Our team approach to the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of spine conditions works cooperatively with primary care physicians and other specialists to develop a treatment plan as unique as each individual.
  • Because you may not need surgery, you may work with our pain management team, physical therapy specialists and others who can create a care plan with the right types of treatments for you.
  • If you need surgery, you’re in experienced hands. Norton Leatherman Spine physicians perform more than 4,000 surgeries a year.
  • Our team has more than 45 specialists at nearly 20 offices across Louisville and Southern Indiana. Many offer same-day appointments and Saturday hours, with no referral needed
  • 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 offer minimally invasive and robotic-assisted procedures that carry less risk and can speed your recovery.
  • 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.
  • Use MyNortonChart to communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions and more, anytime from a mobile device or computer

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