Spine Cervical

If cervical myelopathy is caused by pressure on the neck, won't it come back after surgery as the spine continues to break down?

If someone has cervical myelopathy, the compression of the neck that causes pain and disability, surgery is often done to help relieve that pressure. It is a successful surgery for many patients, although it isn't guaranteed.




My mother's doctor wants her to wear a brace after her neck surgery but she's only worn it for a couple of weeks and has since taken it off. I'm furious with her because she's going to cause problems, isn't she?

This is a question that can only be answered by your mother's surgeon. There are some types of neck surgery that don't require bracing and others that leave it up to the doctor. However, there are also neck surgeries that absolutely require a neck brace or collar for a specific amount of time afterwards.




Do collars, the big soft ones, really help keep you from moving your head? I had one for a sore neck and I seemed to be able to turn my neck from side to side more than a bit, so I was wondering if it was any good.

Cervical collars have been used for a long time for neck problems, such as whiplash or torticollis. They're also used for people whose discs in the neck, the cervical discs, are too weak to support their head or if they have fractures, and they're used after certain types of neck surgeries.




Easy Ten-Second Step Test Can Help Assess Severity of Cervical Myelopathy

Cervical myelopathy is a condition where the neck is being compressed, causing pain and disability. It's considered to be one of the most common neurologic, or nerve, disorders that is occurring more commonly in the older - or geriatric - population.




Cervical Collars Not Necessarily Helpful After Single-Level Anterior Cervical Fusion with Plate

When someone has problems with the discs in their neck, the cervical discs, surgery is often needed. In the 1950s, two surgeons (Bailey and Badgley) developed a procedure that allowed surgery to fuse the discs together be done through the front (anterior) rather than the back (posterior). There were some problems with this though, as the patients often were limited in their range of motion and how well the fusion worked.




Scientific Evidence for Physical Therapy to Treat Neck Pain

Physical therapists, like everyone else in the health care field, are working hard to find ways to treat patients safely and effectively. Instead of treatment as usual, therapists are striving to find scientific evidence to support (or refute) current treatment approaches.




My father is 88-years-old but in relatively good health. He went out motorcycle riding with our 20-year-old grandson. Through no fault of their own, they had an accident. Pops ended up with a fracture of the odontoid process in his neck. I saw an X-ray of the fracture, but it all went by so fast. Could you tell us again what this means and how it will affect him?

The odontoid is a bony knob or upward projection of bone on top of the second cervical vertebra (C2). C2 is also known as the axis. The odontoid process is also called the dens. The dens points up and fits through a hole in the first cervical vertebra (called the atlas). The joints of the axis give the neck most of its ability to turn to the left and right.




Can you help us navigate all the decisions facing us? Mother fell and broke a piece off the second bone in her neck. One surgeon told us she should have surgery to fuse her neck right away. A second surgeon said we could try using a brace and see if the fracture site can be stabilized. Bracing would be less traumatic, but can she get around okay? We don't know what to do.

It sounds like the injury is a fracture of the odontoid process (sometimes called the dens). The odontoid is a bony knob or upward projection of bone on top of the second cervical vertebra (C2). C2 is also known as the axis. The dens points up and fits through a hole in the first cervical vertebra (called the atlas). The joints of the axis give the neck most of its ability to turn to the left and right.




Conservative Care for Neck Fractures in Older Adults

Researchers from Australia present the positive results of 42 patients with a Type II odontoid (neck) fracture who were treated conservatively (without surgery). Everyone in the study was at least 65 years old. Ages ranged from 67 to 91 years old. This type of fracture is most common in older adults who fall and break off the odontoid in the cervical spine (neck).




With so many risks involved with neck surgery, is it really worth it to go under the knife if your problem isn't life threatening?

Severe pain in the neck or upper back, or immobility, can make it tough to live life normally. The pain can interrupt sleep, making you feel fatigued and subject to becoming ill. Fatigue can leave to sleepiness, which can cause fatal accidents. Pain also makes it so people can't work, go out, or even take care of themselves. If pain is having such an effect on a life, it may be that surgery - despite risks - is the only option.




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