Cervical Herniated Disc – Frisco, TX
The spine specialists at OrthoTexas, Frisco offer hands-on treatment for orthopedic conditions of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. The surgeons specialize in treating Cervical Herniated Disc and other spinal conditions.

Cervical Herniated Disc

The spinal cord has 23 discs or small pads of tissue that lie between the wedge shaped vertebrae. Out of these, 6 lie between the vertebrae in the neck. These are referred to as the cervical discs. They protect the vertebrae against external shock as well as prevent them from rubbing against each other. Each disc comprises of two parts- the outer band like ring (annulus fibrosus) and a gel like substance in the center (nucleus pulposus). The nerves shoot out from each disc as they emerge from each vertebra. Cervical Herniated Disc or Herniated Nucleus Pulposus occurs when a crack in the annulus fibrosus leads to the
outflow of the nucleus pulposus.

Cervical Herniated Disc is a progressive disorder that is particularly seen in people in the age group of 40-50 years. The condition progresses in four stages.

  • Disc degeneration- The fluid content in the cervical discs start drying. Their capacity to absorb shocks reduces and they may also begin to thin out.
  • Prolapse- A slight bulge develops in the disc shape and it starts impinging onto the spinal cavity.
  • Extrusion- This stage marks the break in the outer wall and the gel like substance starts moving outwards. However, the pulposus does not leak into the spinal canal at this stage.
  • Sequestration- This is the last stage of disc damage when it breaks down and the gel starts oozing out into the intervertebral disc spaces.

Causes Of Cervical Herniated Disc

  • Trauma to the neck or spine
  • After effect of a spine surgery
  • Age related degeneration of the spinal discs
  • Poor posture, smoking, lack of balanced nutrition may damage the intervertebral discs
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Symptoms Of Cervical Herniated Disc

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling sensation in the arm, hands, back or lower limbs
  • Inability to grip objects or shake hand
  • Weakness in the back, shoulder, neck or limbs depending on the location of the affected nerve

Diagnosis Of Cervical Herniated Disc

  • Detailed clinical evaluation of the spine, existing symptoms and medical history
  • MRI scan may be conducted
  • CT scan with a myelogram may help to identify exact location of nerve pinching in severe cases of Cervical Herniated Disc
  • Neurological and physical tests may be recommended

Treatment For Cervical Herniated Disc

Conservative treatment for Cervical Herniated Disc may include:

  • Cold or heat therapy may be suggested to relax the muscles and reduce pain and swelling
  • Muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medicines may be prescribed
  • Physical therapy may be recommended to improve strength and flexibility of the cervical spine

Surgery may be required if the patient does not respond adequately to the non-surgical treatment. It may be done to remove a part of the damaged disc (Discectomy)

  • Spinal fusion- a bone graft may be carried out after removing the disc. In some cases, metal plates are fixed to promote fusion of the bones in the disc space thus created
  • Replacement of the affected disc with an artificial one to restore function and provide support to the spine

For treatment of Cervical Herniated Disc and other spine conditions, visit OrthoTexas, Frisco. To schedule an appointment with the spine surgeons, call at (214) 618 – 5502.