At OrthoGeorgia, our orthopaedic specialists diagnose and treat all manner of neck and spine conditions that cause pain, discomfort, and reduced mobility. One such condition is cervical disc disease, which is a condition caused by degeneration due to aging. As we age, the cervical discs that stabilize the neck wear out, causing the space between the vertebrae to narrow. This leads to pinched nerves in the neck and several symptoms that can have a negative impact on someone’s daily life. With the proper diagnosis and treatment, those dealing with pain from cervical disc disease can find relief.
What are the Symptoms of Cervical Disc Disease?
The stress on the joints that comes along with cervical disc disease can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. The most common symptoms are neck pain and stiffness. These symptoms are due to reduced flexibility in the neck and are often more prevalent toward the end of the day. A degenerated cervical disc can also begin to protrude, which places pressure on the nerves in the area. A herniated cervical disc may be accompanied by numbness, tingling, and weakness in the arms and legs. The nerves that run through the spinal cord impact various parts of the body, which is why the development of cervical disc disease and herniation can impact more than just the neck and back.
Diagnosis of Cervical Disc Disease at OrthoGeorgia
In order to determine if the cause of your neck pain and stiffness is cervical disc disease, our team at OrthoGeorgia will ask you about your symptoms and medical history. A definitive diagnosis can often be made via imaging tests such as x-ray or MRI. An MRI can provide a clear image of disc degeneration and potential compression of nerves. An X-ray can also be used to identify collapse or reduction in height of the discs, along with bone spurs, which often accompany cervical disc disease. OrthoGeorgia’s Macon (Buildings A and B) and Warner Robins offices are equipped with MRI scanners that produce high-quality imaging in a comfortable environment. We also offer patients the use of our Signa Voyager Wide Bore MRI machine from GE Healthcare, which combines advanced technology and comfort to provide cleaner, crisper images and more spacious accommodations.
How is Cervical Disc Disease Treated?
Nonsurgical Treatment for Cervical Disc Disease in Central GA
Cervical disc disease and its symptoms can often be addressed non-surgically, via several conservative methods. Tension in the neck can be reduced by the use of a neck brace. Your doctor may also recommend that you try anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain. Another nonsurgical treatment tactic for cervical disc disease is physical therapy, which we proudly offer in Central GA at our Macon, Warner Robins, and Kathleen offices. Your physical therapist will determine the best treatment plan for you based on your unique situation and needs. It is often recommended that patients try conservative treatments for a short time before considering surgery because in many cases, the pain associated with cervical disc disease improves over time.
Surgery for Cervical Disc Disease in Central GA
When the pain and stiffness associated with cervical disc disease does not respond to medication and/or physical therapy, your doctor may consider surgery as the best next step. The main surgical procedure used to treat cervical disc disease is a discectomy, during which the diseased disc is removed and replaced with an artificial disc. Discectomy may be followed by a cervical spinal fusion procedure, which corrects problems in the spine by fusing two or more vertebrae together into one single bone. Taking good care of your neck after surgery is important for your long-term health. Even though cervical disc disease most often occurs due to age, keeping your spine and neck in good shape can reduce the chances of pain returning. At OrthoGeorgia, our orthopaedic spine specialists will work with you to determine if surgery is the best option. If so, we will formulate a personalized surgical plan and ensure that all of your questions are answered every step of the way.
Other Spine and Back Conditions We Treat at OrthoGeorgia
At OrthoGeorgia, our orthopaedic specialists are skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of all manner of orthopaedic conditions, including the following spine and back issues affecting those in Central GA.