Cervical Decompression Specialist

Westlake Orthopaedics Spine & Sports

Spine Surgeons & Board Certified and Fellowship Trained Orthopaedic Spine Surgeons located in Austin, TX

When you struggle with ongoing neck pain due to a pinched nerve, it may be time to consider cervical decompression. At Westlake Orthopaedics Spine & Sports in Austin, Texas, board-certified and fellowship-trained spine surgeon Scott Spann, MD, has years of experience successfully performing minimally invasive cervical decompression. If conservative treatments haven’t helped your neck pain, call the office or schedule an appointment online to learn if you’re a good candidate for cervical decompression.

Cervical Decompression Q & A

What is cervical decompression?

Cervical decompression refers to several surgical procedures that eliminate the pressure causing a pinched nerve in your neck. As the nerve is decompressed, you can get relief from symptoms such as neck pain and tingling and pain radiating down your arm.

When might I need cervical decompression?

Dr. Spann often performs surgical decompression for patients suffering from spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis occurs when your spinal canal narrows, a condition that’s caused by problems such as:

  • Herniated disc
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Enlarged facet joints
  • Spondylolisthesis (slipped disc)
  • Thickened ligaments
  • Degenerative disc disease

A spinal injury can also lead to spinal stenosis and a compressed nerve by damaging a disc or causing swelling.

What should I expect during cervical decompression?

Dr. Spann performs your cervical decompression using minimally invasive surgery. That means he makes small incisions and doesn’t cut the muscles. As a result, you have less bleeding, less postoperative pain, and your recovery is faster compared with open surgery.

Dr. Spann also uses several techniques and approaches when performing cervical decompression. He may use an anterior approach and make the incision in the front, or perform a posterior cervical decompression by making the incision in the back of your neck.

The type of cervical decompression Dr. Spann performs depends on where the nerve is pinched. While he removes bone spurs, thickened ligaments, and degenerated or herniated discs when they’re the source of nerve compression, he also decompresses nerves by removing a portion of the bone to make extra space for the nerve.

The primary decompression procedures include:

  • Laminectomy: To remove the bony arch at the back of the vertebra
  • Laminotomy: To remove all or part of the roof of the spinal canal
  • Foraminotomy: To remove bone around the opening where nerves leave the spine
  • Laminaplasty: To open the back of the vertebra and swing the bone open

The bone that’s removed during your cervical decompression determines if Dr. Spann performs a bone fusion to merge the two vertebrae together. You’ll need a fusion when the bone that’s removed to relieve pressure on the nerve results in spinal instability.

If you have ongoing neck pain and wonder if cervical decompression might help, call Westlake Orthopaedics Spine & Sports or book an appointment online.