Neck pain is a common ailment, affecting approximately 10% of the American adult population. That may not sound significant, but that translates to about 32,470,000 people in the U.S. That’s a large patient population, and many of these people go without care because they believe back and neck pain are a normal aspect of life. Fortunately, Dr. Mark Giovanini of NeuroMicroSpine is here to squash that common misconception and educate patients on the importance of seeking medical care as it’s needed. Which means, if you experience pain, don’t brush it off – schedule an appointment to speak with a specialist as soon as you can!
There are several conditions and lifestyle factors that can increase your risk of developing neck pain. Some of the most common causes of neck pain include:
- Traumatic strains or sprains
- Osteoarthritis of the neck
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Herniated or bulging discs
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Cancerous tumor
Depending on the cause of a patient’s neck pain, symptoms may come and go or worsen over time. If degeneration is to blame, it’s likely the pain will not go away and may cause lasting damage if it’s not treated right away. That’s where Dr. Giovanini can help – he performs spinal surgeries on patients suffering from disc damage that does not heal on its own, causing neck pain, headaches, and burning pain that radiates down the arm and may be accompanied by numbness or weakness.
For patients experiencing pain due to degeneration, an anterior cervical disc replacement may be recommended to remove the damaged disc and replace it with a movable prosthesis to allow for continued motion after surgery. Not every patient will be considered a candidate for this procedure. Therefore, Dr. Giovanini tends to select cases that involve herniated discs with no bone spurs and other signs of spinal deterioration because these often have the greatest outcomes after surgery.
That’s not to say he would turn patients away – this just means that Dr. Giovanini would perform a different kind of spine surgery on these patients to ensure the best and safest results. Because Dr. Giovanini specializes in the minimally invasive approach, patients who undergo an anterior cervical disc replacement will not require a stay in the hospital.
What to Expect During Anterior Cervical Disc Replacement
There are different devices and techniques that can be administered during an anterior cervical disc replacement, but generally speaking, Dr. Mark Giovanini will perform the procedure by making a small incision in the front of the neck. He then uses special tools to pull back vital muscles, tissues, and ligaments to create an opening for easier access to the damaged disc(s). This method also spares the cutting of these vital tissues, reducing the patient’s recovery time. Once Dr. Giovanini has access to the cervical discs, he will slowly begin removing damaged pieces to create a place for the cervical disc prosthesis. Once this prosthesis is secured in place, he will remove his surgical tools and close the incision.
Obviously, there is more to the surgery than that brief description; however, it’s still a solid glimpse into what you may expect during an anterior cervical disc replacement. To learn more, call our practice to schedule an appointment with Dr. Giovanini today!
For more information on minimally invasive spine surgery or to make an appointment with Dr. Giovanini, please call (850) 934-7545 or visit http://www.neuromicrospine.com/request-appointment.
We hope to see you soon!
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.