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Cervical Disc Herniation

Cervical Disc Herniation

The cervical spine (neck) is the upper portion of the spinal column. Seven segments comprise the cervical spine. A cervical disc is the gel-like spacer separating the cervical vertebrae. As the cervical disc degenerates (ages), a tear of the outer rim (annulus) can occur and a herniation of the inner part of the disc can migrate posteriorly (backwards) and cause compression of the spinal cord or cervical nerve. Cervical disc herniation can occur because of traumatize events such as an accident, lifting, sports, or cumulative neck strain.

Symptoms can include severe neck pain and arm pain which can radiate down the arm and into the hand. Numbness and tingling into the hands and fingers, loss of grip, strength, and arm strength can occur. If spinal cord compression results from a cervical disc herniation, weakness of both arms or legs can occur along with loss of balance, coordination, and impaired fine motor skills (writing, finger dexterity).

MRI imaging confirms the cervical disc herniation in most cases. Many patients improve with restriction of activities such as avoiding overhead reaching, pulling or lifting heavy items. Arm and neck pain can be relieved with anti-inflammatory medications, steroids, physical therapy, or spinal nerve block.

Surgery may be necessary if pain or neurologic deficit remains severe despite conservative measures. Surgery involves removal of the intervertebral disc and extruded herniation causing spinal cord or nerve root compression from an anterior approach (front to the neck). Replacement of the disc with an artificial disc replacement or anterior fusion is commonly performed. 90% of the patients can return to normal function and resume activity within 8 weeks from surgery.

Patient Testimonials

"First off, I believe Dr. Kropf helped save my life! It's been 6 months since I had my surgery and my spine has fused successfully! Dr. Kropf and his amazing staff treated me like a human being instead of just a patient! The support and encouragement they gave me throughout the few years I have been going is incomparable! Thank you to all those who helped me during my recovery, especially Sakura, and Trisha! You are all Angels on Earth! God Bless you!"

-Stefifi A

"Dr. Kropf is literally a miracle worker. I have suffered with horrible pain for years from herniation at L4/5 & L5/S1. Had a prior micro-surgery from another surgeon which did not work. Dr. Kropf performed a double fusion through the stomach and back. Had my 7 month follow up yesterday and got a clean bill of health. Honestly, after about 5 months I was totally pain free. He completely nailed it!!! I also just referred one of my good friends who also feel in love with Dr.Kropf. I had interviewed 7 surgeons with my wife and we both agreed that there was no one better to do my surgery. This was not a fun thing to go through, but so worth it. Katie, Sakura, and Trisha also were awesome to deal with and super responsive."

-Lee E

"This man gave me my life back! I wouldn't be working today with him as a spine nurse ! I had a cervical fusion & artificial disc replacement for my lower back ! He's caring & compassionate & so is his staff ! He saved my husbands life also by ordering the right tests & got him to another specialist , I feel so blessed to have him! "

-Anastacia H

"I had a Cervical Spine Surgery February 2017 and Lumbar Spine Surgery November 2017. Both Surgeries were a Success. I feel so much better....No More Pain! Thank You, Dr. Kropf... You're the BEST!"

-Martha B

“Dr. Kropf is a very knowledgeable and experienced surgeon. He is just as straight forward and honest as I remember him from 19 years ago. He did an amazing job with my back then, that I flew across the country to discuss the second surgery with him!”