Cervical Spine Surgery FAQs Every Patient Should Know

Google—please find a spine surgeon near me! And, can you find one that can answer my questions about cervical spine surgery?

If you have been experiencing continuous back pain and discomfort, you may be on the hunt for an orthopedic spine surgeon. Or perhaps conservative treatment methods have failed to treat your cervical spine symptoms. If this sounds familiar, consulting with an experienced, skilled, and board-certified surgeon is a step in the right direction.

At EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region, we have an entire team of orthopedic specialists dedicated to treating conditions of the back, spine, and neck. Our fellowship-trained surgeons are skilled and practiced in several types of surgical spine procedures, including cervical spine surgery.

If you have been searching for the best orthopedic surgeons in North Carolina, EmergeOrtho is the trusted source for cervical spine surgery. We are here to ensure you Emerge Stronger. Healthier. Better.

How Do You Know If You Need Cervical Spine Surgery?

When discussing the cervical spine, we are referring to the neck region of the spine. The cervical spine consists of seven vertebrae cushioned from one another by intervertebral discs. Through injury or aging and arthritis, these protective discs may herniate, the cushioned space between the vertebrae may diminish or bone spurs may form, leading to pain, discomfort, and restricted mobility.

An orthopedic spine specialist usually recommends cervical spine surgery only when conservative, non-surgical methods have not been effective in addressing intolerable symptoms or neurological dysfunction.

Surgical procedures for the cervical spine are intended to:

  • Reduce and eliminate symptoms, like pain, discomfort, weakness and numbness/tingling
  • Decompress the pressure affecting the nerves in the neck
  • Reinforce stability of the spine
  • Improve alignment of the spine

Ultimately, a consultation with an orthopedic spine surgeon will determine if you are a candidate for cervical spine surgery.

How Long Does Cervical Spine Surgery Take?

Many patients are curious about how long it takes for a spine surgeon to perform a cervical spine procedure.

A surgeon points out the vertebrae and invertebrate on a model of the cervical spine.The answer varies, based on what type of surgery.

Here are some of the more common procedures our Triangle Region surgeons perform:

  • Minimally invasive spinal surgery
  • Discectomy
  • Disc replacement
  • Foraminotomy
  • Laminectomy
  • Laminoplasty
  • Spine fusion

Several of the procedures listed above take anywhere from one to two hours to complete. More extensive operations may take longer.

What to Expect After Cervical Spine Surgery

To maximize your recovery, it is extremely important to follow the recovery instructions provided by your surgeon. Here are a few things to keep in mind during the days following your cervical spine surgery:

  • Many cervical spine surgeries may be performed as an outpatient or require less than a 24-hour stay. A few more extensive surgeries may require several days recovery in the hospital.
  • The majority of patients can do simple activities like eating, drinking, and walking on the day of surgery.
  • A supportive “cervical collar” may be prescribed to wear for a designated period, depending on the type of surgery.
  • A full recovery varies, with less invasive surgeries requiring 6-12 weeks and some requiring 6 months or more for maximum healing and benefit.
  • Physical therapy typically is not necessary following cervical spine surgery but may depend on your surgeons recommendation.
  • Most patients are able to return to light duty work within days or a couple weeks of cervical spine surgery. More extensive surgeries may require several months for heavy duty work.
  • The full return to normal activities may take around three to four months.

How Do I Choose a Surgeon?

Doing a search for a “spine surgeon near me” yields plenty of results, but how do you know which surgeon is the right surgeon for you? At EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region, our back, neck, and spine surgeons are leading experts in providing state-of-the-art treatments with the highest possible level of care. And, our surgeons are dedicated to taking the time to ensure you feel safe, comfortable, and confident in your care.

If you have been looking for an orthopedic back surgeon or suspect that you may require cervical spine surgery, don’t wait—schedule a consultation now. Or, call us any time at 919-220-5255.