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Cervical spine surgery

There are seven bones in your cervical spine and these are referred to as the vertebrae. At one end it is fixed to your skull and at the other it is joined to the thoracic spine, just behind your chest.

Your cervical spine plays a number of vital roles:

  • It protects your spinal cord, which runs inside it
  • The two vertebrae at the top allow your head to move sideways
  • The rest of the vertebrae make it possible to tilt your head and neck
  • Your vertebrae feel the impact of movement, so there is a disc between every set of two vertebrae that acts as a shock absorber to help protect them.

Causes of pain

There are a number of causes of pain in the cervical spine, including degeneration and injury. A portion of disc can be pushed back into the spinal canal resulting in a compressed nerve, which can lead to inflammation and a herniated disc. Deposits can build up on the vertebrae, known as spurs, and these can pinch the nerves. You will normally feel this pain in your neck and arms.

Treatment

Although there are some medications available to help with pain caused by cervical spine issues, most experts believe that surgery is the best option.

References:

EIDO Healthcare Limited - The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare. 

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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