Experiencing pains around your neck and upper back can negatively affect your life. Further, the pain could indicate a severe underlying problem that requires urgent medical attention. Therefore, you want to consult a professional with experience in various neck pain remedies. Further, the consulted professional should take you through the procedures necessary for your recovery to ensure you are well prepared for the upcoming medical treatment. At LAMIS Institute, we work hard to provide our clients with the best medical services for injured spines. Our rich experience treating numerous conditions makes us among the best choices in Los Angeles, California, to perform a cervical microdiscectomy.
Conditions that Warrant Treatment Through Cervical Microdiscectomy
When you feel irregular pain or tension around your neck, it may be from temporary muscular discomfort that should resolve in a few days. However, continuous and persistent pain may be a more serious condition requiring specialized treatment.
Usually, your doctor recommends a cervical microdiscectomy procedure when you have a herniated disc. This means that the liquid-rubbery fluid located inside the discs that form your spinal cord permeates to the external casing. Undergoing the procedure is specifically advisable for patients with a ruptured disc along the neck, medically known as the cervical spine.
The herniated disc raises medical problems because it can pinch or compress nerves near the spinal cord's top end. Thus, the most affected area is the neck because the discs around it house the nerves near the spinal cord end.
Symptoms that prompt your doctor to recommend a cervical microdiscectomy include mild, moderate, or extreme pain around your neck and upper back. Most patients will also report that the pain often hits them with a pulsating sensation, making it more apparent. Furthermore, the pain may progress over time depending on the compression intensity on your nerves.
Furthermore, depending on the affected nerves, you may also experience general weakness that affects your hands, shoulders, or even legs. Subsequently, you may be unable to maintain an upright posture or lift items that you can otherwise handle.
Additionally, patients often experience a tingling sensation. This is primarily because the affected nerves usually distort your ability to sense feelings. The tingles may be continuous or in unpredictable intervals, making it hard to maintain your everyday lifestyle.
Compressed nerves can also cause numbness across various body parts, depending on how the nerves travel. For example, if the compressed nerve extends to your arm, you will notice a reduced feeling. Despite this, you should note that some symptoms emerge from other unidentified medical circumstances.
Therefore, the best approach is to consult a medical professional specializing in spine treatment to determine the nature of your pain. Once the doctor conducts their examination, they will be in a better position to establish whether your case is resolvable using physical therapy, prescription medication, or surgically.
Nevertheless, you should note that more minor complications with a disc in the cervical spine may only need prescription medicine or a few sessions of physical therapy for realignment. This means that the herniated disc has not compressed a nerve completely, meaning that it does not pose severe damage to the exposed nerve.
Once your doctor determines that prescription drugs are the more suitable remedy, you want to complete all doses as recommended for the best chance of recovery. Additionally, you will need to disclose any allergies or other ongoing prescriptions to prevent medical complications. Overall, the medical professional working on your case can determine the best solution for you based on the symptoms you report.
If the doctor prescribes physical therapy, you can expect continuous treatment for a specified duration, after which you will undergo review. Although these sessions are often practical, your doctor must ensure that the herniated disc will not dislocate again and potentially compress nerves in the spine.
Thus, you may have to undergo X-Ray imaging for the doctor to confirm that your spine discs are in the correct position, especially around the neck. Once you receive clearance, you can usually continue your life, provided you follow the aftercare tips your doctor offers.
What Cervical Microdiscectomy Entails
The last resort to handling a herniated disc is surgically correcting it through cervical microdiscectomy. The option is not only minimally invasive but is also highly effective in removing the herniated disc. As a result, you can expect a lasting solution to the previous discomfort compared to taking medication for temporary relief.
A cervical microdiscectomy procedure is one of the several medical options to treat recurrent pain and discomfort. Your doctor will surgically apply this method, meaning they will have to access your cervical spine internally to remove the disc causing compression.
Hence, you need to understand the preparation procedures to expect before surgery and the process involved in removing the herniated disc. In doing so, you will better understand your medical journey to recovery and how to improve your well-being to avoid medical complications.
What to Expect Before the Cervical Microdiscectomy Procedure
After your doctor clears you for the surgical procedure, you must undertake several preparatory courses. Learning what to expect early is highly beneficial, as it saves you from delays and inconveniences in your treatment.
Hence, you want to attend a consultation session where your doctor will explain their expectations and guide you through the preventive measures to take. Some of the processes you can expect before the surgery include:
Providing Any Information on Medical Allergies and Ongoing Prescriptions
Firstly, you must provide any information concerning allergies or adverse complications with specific medication. The details help determine whether the anesthesia used during surgery is compatible with your body.
Furthermore, the medication used to reduce pain during recovery may also pose significant threats to your health if they cause adverse symptoms. Subsequently, you want to disclose the details to help your doctor establish appropriate alternatives for you.
Observing Diet Restrictions Hours Before Surgery
Additionally, you may need to observe specific dietary restrictions from your doctor a few hours before surgery. Standard practice requires a patient scheduled for surgery to avoid eating food for extended durations of up to twelve hours.
Nevertheless, each patient’s information is different, so you want to apply instructions from your doctor depending on your condition. Observing any dietary restrictions from your doctor is crucial to helping you proceed with the surgery as scheduled, while failing to follow the guidelines may cause unnecessary delays.
Reaching the Medical Facility Within the Required Time
Moreover, you will receive instructions on the recommended arrival time at the facility where your surgery is to take place. Since medical professionals often operate on a strict schedule, you want to arrive within the required timeframe to help you prepare and ease into the process. Failure to observe the medical guidelines may result in a cancellation, resulting in further treatment delays.
Carrying an Overnight Bag
If your surgery occurs later in the day or at night, you also want to carry an overnight bag containing your essentials. These may include hygiene products and a change of clothes to help you remain comfortable throughout your stay at the medical facility. Nonetheless, it would help if you remembered that cervical microdiscectomy procedures are minimally invasive, meaning you can leave the hospital hours after the surgery.
Removing All Accessories Before the Procedure
Lastly, your doctor will request you remove all accessories like jewelry, hair and nail extensions, and medical gear like Invisalign and dentures before the surgery. This is because having the items on your body may cause reactions with medication. Alternatively, they may create hindrances as your doctor tries to access your spine during the procedure.
The Cervical Microdiscectomy Process
Since cervical microdiscectomy does not require your doctor to cut through your body for access, they implement medical tools to remove the herniated disc. These devices are set to penetrate your body through small openings and access the problem area through tubular systems.
This option is more favorable than regular surgery as you face fewer infection risks. Additionally, the procedure leaves you with a smaller scar due to the lower injury rate as the doctor works on the herniated disc. You can also look forward to more manageable and less recovery time, giving you a chance to return to your everyday life.
The surgery begins with your doctor inducing general anesthesia to prevent you from experiencing pain and discomfort. Thus, you will be unconscious throughout, giving the doctor a better chance of performing the surgery smoothly.
After confirming that you are unconscious, your doctor will puncture a hole at a strategic area on your neck to access the critical path for treatment. They will insert tubes to access the herniated disc, as the tubes serve as a linear guide through your muscles. The doctor will choose a tube of appropriate size to ensure they do not rupture blood vessels around the passage area.
Once the doctor locates the herniated disc, they will gently extract the part compressing your nerves to remedy the condition. Noteworthy, your body and health will remain intact without having to replace the extracted portion of the disc. As a result, no additional steps are necessary after the removal is complete.
The doctor will then finalize the procedure by closing up the small wounds for healing to begin. Once your anesthesia wears out, you will be ready to wake up and even return home if the doctor approves it.
Aftercare Remedies to Follow
Although a cervical microdiscectomy does not involve invasive processes, you will still need to take care of yourself after surgery for a full recovery. Subsequently, your doctor will provide aftercare tips to help you maintain your well-being and what to avoid. Essential care tips for applying are:
Avoid Intense Exercises
Your doctor may advise you to avoid intense workout sessions to allow the discs on your spine to remain intact after extracting the affected sections. This is primarily because strenuous activities like lifting will apply pressure to your neck and upper back, causing strain on the recently operated area. Hence, avoiding intense workouts or day-to-day activities will help you undergo a smoother healing process.
Remain Active by Walking
One of the best ways to promote recovery for patients who undergo a cervical microdiscectomy is by walking. The active movements help the discs railing along the spine, which is crucial to restoring the backbone balance. However, you should report any sharp pain or discomfort to your doctor as soon as possible if you attempt to walk after the surgery.
Avoid Taking Long Car Drives
Driving for extended periods may restore strain on your neck and upper cervical discs, based on the need to confirm your safety on the road. Furthermore, many drivers do not uphold the required position for your spine, exposing them to increased risks of additional injury. Thus, you want to avoid long car rides for a few weeks to help your body readjust to the removed portion of the affected disc.
Take Prescriptions as Required
Your doctor may also issue medication to help you recover, so you want to complete all doses. If you cannot continue the medication, you can consult your doctor on alternatives or stop them altogether, depending on your recovery progress.
Find a Neurointerventional Surgeon Near Me
Doubtless, dealing with neck and back pains from pinched nerves can affect your well-being negatively. Moreover, your mobility may decrease significantly, giving you a more challenging time undertaking everyday activities. Therefore, you want to have the condition assessed by an experienced medical professional with skill in performing a cervical microdiscectomy.
Choosing the right team can significantly impact your recovery and long-term health, as you will have a lower chance of facing health risks. You will receive quality services with LAMIS Institute, from consultation to surgical procedures to treat your condition.
Furthermore, we will ensure you receive proper aftercare to help you rebuild your life with fewer medical conditions to worry about. Our services are available for anyone seeking cervical microdiscectomy procedures in Los Angeles, California. For more information, contact us today at 310-734-6088.