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Herniated Cervical Discs

Your backbone is made up of a stack of bony vertebrae alternating with softer discs made of cartilage. Within each of these cartilage discs is a jelly-like material called the nucleus pulposus, which gives the disc a spongy quality and allows it to act as a shock absorber for the adjacent vertebrae. A herniated disc is defined as a disc whose central material has leaked out of its outer covering (the annulus fibrosis).

This rupturing can occur either as the result of a one-time injury or arise from years of wear and tear. Discs that have already weakened with age are most prone to rupture. Discs can herniate in any area of the spine, though they are 15 times more likely to occur in the lumbar (lower) region of the spine than in the upper (cervical) region. On average, older men are more susceptible to herniated discs than are women.

Herniated Cervical Discs: Symptoms and Treatment
Symptoms of a herniated cervical disc include spasms in the neck muscles, weakness in the arm muscles, pain in the back and sides of the neck, pain near the shoulder blades, pain that spreads from the neck to the shoulder, arm, hand, or chest, and increased pain with motion.

Herniated cervical discs may require surgery to relieve the pressure the ruptured disc exerts on sensitive surrounding nerves. At The Bonati Institute for Advanced Arthroscopic Surgery, special procedures have been developed to address the condition of herniated cervical discs. The Bonati Arthroscopic Laser Discectomy is most commonly recommended and typically provides immediate relief. For a comprehensive description, please see www.bonati.com.


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