Spine Cervical

My father had degeneration of his lower back discs and he had surgery called arthroplasty. I believe it is replacing the discs. My mother has the same problem just below her neck and her doctor says he can't do the same type of surgery. Why not?

Currently, arthroplasty - replacement of discs - is only approved for the mid to lower back. The United States FDA has not yet approved it for the cervical, or upper spine, yet. That being said, there are ongoing studies that are examining the usefulness and the efficacy of cervical spine arthroplasty and the medical community believes that it shouldn't be too long now that the FDA will approve it within the next few years.

Alan H. Daniels, MD, et al.




Avoiding Adverse Events Associated with Anterior Cervical Spine Surgery

The cervical spine, or the upper part and the neck, can be hurt in many ways, from trauma and injury to osteoarthritis, the so-called wear and tear arthritis. Most often, conservative - nonsurgical treatment- is all that's needed to help the patient heal, but there are times when surgery is necessary.




I saw someone the other day who had one of those metal rings on her head with pins. Is that thing actually screwed to her head? That thing looks heavy.

Halo braces are used to help stabilize the neck. To apply a halo brace, the surgeon needs to drill holes into the skull around the head to insert pegs or screws that will hold the round, halo, part of the brace. The brace does weigh up to seven pounds.




I'm totally panicked. I just came back from a car accident that was my fault. I hit the other car head on. Fortunately, I wasn't going very fast. I'm worried the lady in the car will get a whiplash injury and sue me. Is there any chance that front-end collisions cause less injuries than rear-end fender benders?

The mechanism of injury is the same no matter which direction the force comes from. The head and neck are forced into extension and flexion with a rear-end collision or flexion and extension with a front-end impact.




They say not everyone who has a car accident gets a whiplash injury. But it's my dumb luck to be one of them. I'm not an overly emotional or hysterical person. I usually heal quickly after a cut or other minor injury. So how come, after six months, I still have headaches, neck pain, and jaw pain from the accident? Why me?

Scientists are still scratching their heads over chronic whiplash injuries. They ask the same question: why is it that some people recover just fine, while others go on to develop a chronic problem? In fact, the problem is common enough that it now has a label: whiplash associated disorder (WAD).




Putting An End to Chronic Pain After Whiplash Injury

Scientists are still scratching their heads over chronic whiplash injuries. Why is it that some people recover just fine, while others go on to develop a chronic problem? In fact, the problem is common enough that it now has a label: whiplash associated disorder (WAD).




My sister is a physical therapist. She's been helping me after my recent surgery to fuse two bones in my neck. She says I don't really need the neck brace I was given, but it scares me to go without it. Is it safe to go without it now?

It's fairly routine to give a patient a cervical neck brace after neck fusion. But according to the
results of a study done in multiple U.S. centers, bracing isn't always needed. Fusion rates and return-to-work status were the same with or without the bracing.

These findings apply to patients who had a single-level anterior cervical disc fusion (ACDF).
Surgeons involved in the study say these results makes sense because the fusion was done with a metal




I've been having some neck pain, and I can't turn my head all the way to the left to match how far I can go on the right. My physical therapist assures me that this will all clear up with a few treatments. I'm worried there's more to it than that. What if there's a tumor on one side or some kind of blockage?

It's a well-known fact that the cervical spine (neck) and the scapulae (shoulder blades) are linked or connected by nothing more than muscles. Specifically, the upper trapezius and the levator scapulae muscles. These are referred to as the cervicoscapular muscles.




Physical Therapists Rethink Effect of Scapula on Neck Motion

Physical therapists routinely examine patients with neck pain for posture and alignment. There is an assumption that these three things are linked together. In other words, if everything isn't lined up in a neutral or correct position, then neck pain may develop. Or neck pain gets worse in someone who already has neck pain. In this study, therapists take the first steps toward possibly proving that theory wrong.




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