Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Neck FAQ

Question:

I have some problems from a ruptured disc in my neck that's putting mild pressure on my spinal cord. My doctor said I may need surgery but that I could just wear a neck brace instead. Am I better off deciding to have surgery right away?

Answer:

Chances are, you have some time to make your decision. A recent study observed patients who had disc herniations that caused mild symptoms of spinal cord pressure. Ten patients had surgery right away. Twenty-seven patients tried conservative treatment instead. They wore neck braces and limited their activities for three to six months. Seventeen of these patients (63 percent) did well without surgery. The others didn't do as well and wound up having surgery.

Later on, all three groups of patients--those who had surgery right away, those who had surgery later, and those who didn't have surgery at all--had the same amount of function.

Patients who didn't have surgery and those who waited to have surgery were both satisfied with their results. In fact, patients who had surgery after trying conservative treatment were a little more satisfied (90 versus 77 percent).

These results suggest that you may get good results from conservative treatment alone. Be sure to talk more with your doctor about what you can expect from conservative treatment.



*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Medical Multimedia Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Medical Multimedia Group, LLC and used herein by permission.

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