Cervical Spine Surgery

It is the surgery of the cervical part of the spinal cord. It is also called Cervical reticulopathy. The need for the cervical reticulopathy occurs when non surgical methods are of no worth for the symptoms of cervical spondylotis, etc.

The goal of the surgery are to decompress the nerves, to maintain correct alignment of spinal cord & to maintain stability of the spinal cord.

Need for the surgery

The cervical spinal surgery is a complex one and its need arises when there is some compression or elongation in vertebrae of cervical region of spinal cord.

The basic causes for the surgery are as follows

  • Meningitis in the cervical region
  • Arthiritis
  • Disc herniation, in which the cervical disc fuses with each other
  • Cervical stenosis, in which the spinal canal narrows and constricts the spinal cord.
  • Some severe cervical injuries including bone spurs & blood vessel destruction.

These conditions are not very well cured with medications and exercises, and surgical methods are adopted by the doctor.

Types of Cervical Spinal Surgery

Depending on the problem & its severity, there are various surgical procedures which can be utilized.

  • Anterior Spinal Discectomy : By this surgery, the pressure of one or more nerve root or spinal cord is removed from anterior path, but with passage of time, the vertebra may fuse again as the gap is left over or filled with bony parts.
  • Anterior Cervical Copectomy : It is done in association with Cervical Discectomy. In this method, some part of vertebral bone is removed to release pressure from spinal cord & the gap is filled with bone or metal implants.
  • Posterior Microdiscectomy : This methods is done to remove soft disc herniation from posterior side. In this procedure, some part of facet joint is removed to release nerve root.
  • Posterior Cervical Laminectomy : In this procedure, a small incision at the posterior side of the neck is made to remove the bony part from back and providing space for thick ligaments and relax the spinal cord.

Risks of Surgery

Being a complex surgical procedure, it have many risks including

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Sub dural tear
  • Damage to the nerves & nerve roots
  • Damage to the spinal cord
  • Anaesthesia reaction
  • Voice changes
  • Spinal instability
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Broken or loosen or misplaced implants
  • Difficult breathing
  • Oesophagal, tracheal or vocal cord injury


The post surgical recovery requires short stay in hospital for complete observations of the patient. After the surgery, the patient may experience severe pain, tingling sensations, weakness and walking impairments.

The outcomes of the cervical spinal surgery vary depending on the body physiology of the patient and type of surgery. Some patients improve to a great extent, some remains the same while some other still get worsen with their symptoms. So, the cervical spinal surgery is not a sure treatment or cure for cervical problems but successful upto some extent.