Cervical radiculopathy, also called a pinched nerve, happens when your vertebrae or spinal discs compress a nerve that branches away from your spinal cord. You may have a pinched nerve and not experience any pain, or you may experience radiating pain in your shoulder or muscle weakness through the arm and hand.
The pain from cervical radiculopathy may worsen when extending or turning your neck. Pinched nerves can also cause tingling in the hands and fingers, and you may lose sensation in these extremities.
As you age, your spine changes because of wear and tear. This progressive degeneration causes your spine to shrink as spinal discs dehydrate, weaken, and shorten. Because your vertebrae migrate closer and start to rub together, the body naturally responds by making bone, causing bone spurs.
Bone spurs narrow the spinal column and openings where nerves exit the spine. Pinched nerves occur at this spot because the nerve root is trapped between bone, spurs, and spinal discs.
Pinched nerves can also result from injuries that cause herniated discs.
Most pinched nerves get better without treatment. The pain dissipates in a few days to a few weeks. In other cases, you may require months to heal.
When pinched nerves don’t heal on their own, you need medical intervention. Depending on your case, Dr. Shifflett has numerous options at his disposal:
Motion preservation technologies use innovative devices to replace the function of spinal discs, such as state-of-the-art artificial discs and motion-sparing facet replacements.
During an artificial disc replacement, Dr. Shifflett removes your bad disc. He replaces it with an artificial instrument that restores spinal mobility and flexibility.
Dr. Shifflett performs posterior cervical foraminotomies, a minimally-invasive procedure, through small incisions. He uses a drill and micro-instruments to enlarge the area where the nerve root leaves the spine.
In a laminoplasty, Dr. Shifflett creates a hinge by thinning your bone. He opens the area where the nerve exits the spine to increase the space between the vertebrae.
In some cases, Dr. Shifflett combines these techniques in a hybrid surgical approach.
When you’re suffering from a pinched nerve in your neck, find a solution with a renowned spinal surgeon, Dr. Shifflett. Call to schedule your appointment or book it online today.