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Neck Pain

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Surgery

Surgery is rarely needed for neck pain. It may be an option when:

  • A neck injury causes a fracture or abnormal motion (instability). Surgery may be done to stabilize the spine and prevent a bone fracture from causing instability and possible paralysis.
  • Pressure on the nerve roots or spinal cord camera.gif causes numbness or arm, hand, or leg weakness; severe pain that lasts for months; or loss of bladder or bowel control. Pressure on the nerve roots or spinal cord may be caused by problems such as a narrowing of the spinal canal camera.gif (cervical spinal stenosis), arthritis of the neck (cervical spondylosis), or a herniated disc in the neck.

Surgery choices

Some people can consider artificial disc replacement instead of spinal fusion. This surgery is currently just for carefully selected patients, and it is done by specially trained surgeons. Doctors have not yet done long-term studies to know how well this works over time.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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