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Neck Surgery c5-c6-c7: Surgical Options, Recovery Time, and More [2024]

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Deuk Spine Web Team
An expert in all things spine, Dr. Deukmedjain is a board certified neurosurgeon who has performed thousands of minimally invasive surgeries and procedures including the revolutionary Deuk Laser Disc Repair and the Deuk Spinal Fusion. 

Although no one wants to undergo spine surgery, including complex procedures like Neck Surgery C5-C6-C7, it’s occasionally essential. If you have had neck pain for a while and have tried all of the available treatments without getting the results you were hoping for, surgery may be necessary. 

However, most of those recommended for this operation have numerous queries. The most frequently posed query is how long it takes to recover from neck surgery. Of course, there isn’t a simple or unambiguous response to this question. Neck surgery recovery time will vary depending on your physiology, the type of surgery done, and other factors.

This article contains everything you need to know about Neck Surgery C5-C6-C7 including the various treatment options, recovery time, and more.

What is Neck Surgery c5-c6-c7?

Neck surgery involving the C5, C6, and C7 vertebrae typically refers to procedures addressing issues in the cervical spine at these levels. The cervical spine is made up of seven vertebrae (C1-C7) at the top of the spine, just below the skull, responsible for supporting the head and allowing a wide range of head and neck movements. 

Surgery at the C5-C6-C7 levels can be necessary for several reasons, including herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, fractures, or spinal instability. These conditions can cause neck pain, stiffness, and other symptoms such as arm pain, numbness, or weakness due to nerve compression.

What is ACDF Surgery?

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a specialized neck surgery aimed at removing a damaged disc to alleviate pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots, thereby addressing associated symptoms such as pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling. This procedure is also referred to as anterior cervical decompression due to its decompressive nature. 

The operation consists of two key components:

  1. Anterior Cervical Discectomy: This part of the surgery is conducted via the anterior, or front, of the cervical spine (neck), where the disc is removed from between two vertebral bones.
  2. Fusion: Performed simultaneously with the discectomy, fusion surgery aims to stabilize the cervical segment. This is achieved by inserting bone grafts and/or implants in the location of the previously removed disc to enhance stability and strength in the area.

Although this procedure is predominantly performed to address issues related to a symptomatic cervical herniated disc, it can also be utilized in the treatment of cervical degenerative disc disease

Additionally, it’s frequently employed to remove bone spurs (osteophytes) that arise due to arthritis and to mitigate symptoms associated with cervical spinal stenosis.

Deuk Spine Minimally Invasive Surgery for c5-c6-c7 Injuries 

The most cutting-edge and effective surgery for a c5-c6-c7 injury is the Deuk Laser Disc Repair. Deuk Laser Disc Repair requires a very small incision, less than a quarter inch long. A cylindrical instrument known as a dilator is inserted through the tiny opening to gently separate the muscles, creating a minuscule passageway and a guide through which the surgery is conducted endoscopically.

The tip of the dilator is advanced into the symptomatic disc via the tear in the annulus from which the herniation originates, and a tube referred to as the retractor is slid over the dilator and precisely placed into the affected disc. The entirety of the Deuk Laser Disc Repair surgery is performed within this narrow tube.

An endoscopic camera is introduced into the tubular retractor to allow the surgeon to navigate the laser inside each symptomatic disc, ensuring that bones and surrounding tissues remain unharmed, unlike in traditional spinal fusions, microdiscectomy, and artificial disc procedures.

The Holmium YAG laser utilized in Deuk Laser Disc Repair is manipulated with millimeter precision under endoscopic visualization to excise only the painful, inflamed tissue from the disc. The laser specifically targets and removes damaged disc material that causes pain.

Following the removal of the inflamed, painful portion of the annular tear and the herniated nucleus pulposus by the laser, the endoscope and tubular retractor are extracted, leaving a small incision in the skin, which is closed with a single stitch and a band-aid. The entire Deuk Laser Disc Repair surgery takes one hour, with the patient spending approximately 45 to 60 minutes in recovery before being discharged home.

No hospitalization is required, and the risks associated with hospital-based surgery are circumvented. Additionally, Deuk Laser Disc Repair does not entail the loss of normal movement, and the disc and joint’s flexibility is maintained.

Deuk Laser Disc Repair has a 99.6% success rate when it comes to the elimination of pain. It also involves no fusion, metal implants, or biological materials added to the spine. The procedure is completely natural, allowing the body to heal the herniated or bulging disc autonomously.

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When Is Neck Surgery c5-c6-c7 Necessary?

Determining if you require C5-C6-C7 neck surgery can be difficult because there can be many different causes. For instance, you might discover that the discs in your spine are degenerating and grinding against one another or that your neck’s nerves are  irritated. These are just a few instances in which neck surgery may be necessary. 

Surgery is typically advised when all other forms of treatment have failed and you have:

  • Cervical radiculopathy is the medical term for a herniated disc that has compressed the nerve root. As a result, the nerve becomes irritated by bone spurs.
  • The gaps within the spine are too small due to spinal stenosis. The spinal nerves will then become crushed as a result, resulting in pain and numbness.
  • Degenerative disc disease causes the discs to push against one another and entrap the spinal nerves. Your discs will likewise be fragile in this situation. This indicates that they are unable to stop the vertebrae from grating against one another, which causes excruciating pain.

Different Neck Surgery c5-c6-c7 Methods

Various surgical techniques are available, depending on the source of the neck pain. The following are some of the different neck surgeries for C5-C6-C7. 

Deuk Laser Disc Repair 

As mentioned above, Deuk Laser Disc Repair is the most advanced laser spine surgery in the world. The procedure was developed by Dr. Ara Deukmedjian, a renowned neuro-spine surgeon and a true pioneer in minimally invasive, laser, and endoscopic back and neck pain treatment. Deuk Laser Disc Repair is used as an alternative to dangerous invasive surgeries like total disc replacement and spinal fusion. 

The procedure is a form of endoscopic spine surgery performed under sedation while the patient relaxes in a state-of-the-art outpatient surgery center. This procedure does not compromise or weaken the health and integrity of the spine.

In the over 15 years that the procedure has been performed and with over 2,000 patients treated, there has been a 99.6% success rate with no complications in any patient.

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Anterior Cervical Discectomy

This surgery treats the discomfort caused by a deteriorated or herniated disc. An anterior approach to the spine allows the surgeon to remove the problematic disc while stabilizing the area with a bone graft

It’s also possible to remove any bone spurs that are rubbing against the spinal nerve. Normally, this operation only necessitates one overnight stay. Whether you can eat, how mobile you are, and how much pain you are in will determine when you are released.

In three to six months, you should be ready to resume your regular activities. Recovery following neck fusion surgery varies depending on how quickly the bone graft can fuse. Your doctor will frequently check on this and give you guidance on how to recover and what degree of activity is appropriate.

Posterior Cervical Discectomy

Similar to the previously described procedure, posterior cervical discectomy with foraminotomy also removes disc tissue that is producing issues. Nonetheless, the disc will be reached through the rear using this specific treatment (posterior). Furthermore, because only a portion of the disc will be removed, there won’t be a need for bone fusion. 

Therefore, recovery advice for neck fusion surgery is not applicable in this situation. Instead, this procedure merely seeks to increase the space where the nerve exits the spine, preventing compression. It doesn’t try to fix painful problematic joints that cause pain when moved. Instead, the operation creates greater space to reduce compression, which lessens nerve irritation and pain perceptions. 

The nerve is often gently pushed sideways through a keyhole incision created behind the neck, and then the foramen is cleared by the surgeon. Sometimes it’s also necessary to remove bone spurs and misplaced disc material. 

Following this procedure, you will often need to stay in the hospital for around two days. You will continue to recuperate over the following four to six weeks, after which you can resume light activities. It usually takes two to three months to fully recover. You might also be recommended for physical therapy for rehabilitation.

Cervical Arthroplasty Procedure or Disc Replacement

With this procedure, a damaged cervical disc will be removed and replaced with an artificial disc. There shouldn’t be any loss of movement because the artificial disc is a prosthesis that functions similarly to a joint. Since the entire disc is removed during this surgery, fusion will be necessary, making it relatively comparable to the previous surgery.

With the anterior cervical discectomy, the implant is a bone transplant, but with the disc replacement technique, it is a prosthetic device. The soft tissue is pulled apart during this treatment after a small incision is made in the front of the neck. The surgeon will next insert the artificial disc after removing the bony matter and the disc itself. After gently repositioning the residual tissue, the incision will be repaired. 

Your illness will determine how long you need to spend in the hospital, however many don’t need an overnight stay. You can usually resume light activities two weeks after the injury, and it takes around six weeks to fully heal.

Neck Surgery c5-c6-c7 Success Rate

The success rate of neck surgeries like the C5-C6-C7 can vary, depending on the specific procedure and factors such as the patient’s overall health and the severity of their condition. Procedures such as Deuk Laser Disc Repair, which has treated about 2000 patients, have an average success rate of 99.6% in eliminating disc pain, with zero surgical complications. 

Advantages of Neck Surgery for c5-c6-c7 Injuries

The  majority of individuals will take every precaution to avoid having surgery. But, you must be aware that neck surgery for C5-C6-C7 also has several important advantages. 

They consist of:

  1. Less pain, and hence, a higher standard of living. After you have fully recovered, you will be able to return to your normal routine and never have to worry about going through the agonizing pain again. Neck pain can be crippling and even endanger life, but the right surgery can treat it.
  2. Improved health. Neck pain is typically a sign of an underlying problem that has to be treated. This problem is handled through surgery, which prevents it from getting worse.

How Long Does Neck Surgery Recovery Take?

Neck surgery recovery can vary significantly depending on the type of procedure performed. Traditional surgeries that involve fusion or disc removal often require a longer recovery period, typically spanning weeks to months. Minimally invasive procedures like Deuk Laser Disc Repair offer a much faster turnaround. Here, patients are in recovery for as little as 45 to 60 minutes before being discharged.

Determinants of Neck Surgery c5-c6-c7 Recovery Time

How long it takes you to recover after a C5-C6-C7 neck surgery can depend on a variety of things. Two of the most significant variables that affect recovery time are the severity of your ailment and the type of surgery you receive. Other elements consist of:

Age

You will probably recover more rapidly if you are still very young than if you are older. Typically, younger patients surpass the average patient’s milestones. On the other hand, younger individuals rarely need neck surgery.

Well-being

Your recuperation time will probably take longer if you have any other health issues or have a sedentary lifestyle. Your recuperation time will be shortened the healthier you are before the operation. Smoking, being obese, drinking excessively, and having chronic conditions all have a negative effect on how quickly your wounds will heal.

Lifestyle

People with active lifestyles who regularly engage in appropriate physical activity recover more quickly. However, people who have physically demanding work typically recover far more slowly.

It typically takes longer to return to a high level of activity if you are already very active.

Post Surgery Care for c5-c6-c7 Neck Surgery 

It’s crucial to take care of yourself after the procedure. Additionally, you need to feel secure and at ease, if you want to recuperate as rapidly as possible. Your doctor has probably given you a prescription for some pain medication and advice on how to care for your wound. 

Additionally, you will have received advice on things you must never do, including engaging in physically demanding exercise. The duration of your leave from work will also have been specified by your surgeon.

There are a few other things to anticipate following your operation, including:

  • restrictions for some physical activity. Lifting objects more than 8 lbs. or bending over to pick them up is typically not permitted. As a result, be sure you have a support system in place to help you out around the house while you’re recovering.
  • Driving is prohibited for at least two weeks in order to safeguard you and other road users.
  • Because you don’t want any foreign objects to get inside the incision and create infections, showering should be kept to a minimum. You must provide the sutures the time they require to close the wound. Again, your doctor ought to have told you about that.

Additionally, you must let your doctor know if you develop a fever, see blood or pus coming from a wound, have trouble breathing or using the restroom, experience pain or numbness, or notice any of these other symptoms. 

The most crucial thing you can do to reduce your recovery time is to pay attention to your body while following your Deuk Spine Institute surgeon’s instructions.

Nonsurgical Treatments for c5-c6-c7 Neck Injuries 

For C5-C6-C7 neck injuries, non-surgical treatments are often considered before surgery is recommended. These conservative treatments focus on relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and improving neck function without the need for invasive procedures. 

Here are some non-surgical approaches commonly employed:

  1. Medications: Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are typically the first line of defense. For more severe pain, doctors may prescribe stronger painkillers, muscle relaxants, or even corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.
  2. Physical Therapy: Physical therapists can design a program to help reduce pain and improve mobility. This often includes exercises to strengthen neck muscles, improve posture, and increase flexibility. Techniques might also involve manual therapy, such as massage and mobilization.
  3. Injections: For more persistent pain, injections such as epidural steroid injections may be used to deliver anti-inflammatory medication directly to the area around the spinal nerves. This can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation.
  4. Lifestyle Modifications: Simple changes in daily activities can also make a significant difference. This may include ergonomic adjustments at work, posture correction, weight management, and avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain.
  5. Manual Therapy and Exercise: Combining therapeutic exercise with manual therapy can help enhance neck function, reduce discomfort, and increase range of motion at the C5-C6-C7 levels. It’s also aimed at improving head and neck balance to prevent further injuries​.

It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on the individual’s specific condition, symptoms, and overall health.

More About Neck Surgery c5-c6-c7

This section delves into frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to neck surgery in c5-c6-c7

Fear of c5-c6-c7 Neck Surgery 

It’s natural to feel some apprehension before neck surgery, especially around the C5-C6-C7 vertebrae. However, staying calm and focused on your recovery can make a big difference.

Here are some tips to help you manage your anxiety and promote a peaceful state of mind leading up to surgery:

  • Understanding your worries: Take some time to identify what specifically makes you nervous. Is it the procedure itself? Recovery time? Talk to your doctor about your concerns, and they can address them directly.
  • Planning for success: Feeling prepared can be very calming. Ask your doctor what to expect before, during, and after surgery. This can involve preparing your home environment for recovery or having a support system.
  • Knowledge is power: The more you know about your surgery, the less fear of the unknown there will be. Ask your doctor questions and research reliable sources of information.

Neck surgery c5-c6-c7 cost 

The cost of neck surgery for the C5-C6-C7 vertebrae varies widely based on factors such as the specific procedure, location, surgeon’s expertise, and insurance coverage. These surgeries can be expensive, often ranging from tens of thousands of dollars, depending on whether the operation is performed in a hospital or an outpatient center. 

For accurate pricing, it’s recommended to consult directly with healthcare providers and insurance companies.

What is c6 c7 surgery?

The neck consists of seven cervical vertebrae, which safeguard the spinal cord. The C6 and C7 vertebrae are two of these cervical elements. They bear a lot of resemblance in structure to the rest of the cervical vertebrae, featuring a vertebral body and arch, along with two transverse processes, two facet joints, and a single spinous process. In addition, C7 is distinguished by having a Vertebra Prominens, which is an enlarged spinous process, and in rare cases, these vertebrae may also present an additional cervical rib.

Given their location towards the base of the neck, C6 and C7 play a crucial role in bearing weight and providing support. Moreover, they are particularly prone to herniation.

C6-C7 surgery typically addresses conditions affecting these spinal levels, such as herniated discs or degenerative diseases, which can cause pain, weakness, or numbness by compressing nerves.

What is the recovery time for c5-c6-c7 neck surgery?

The recovery time for C5-C6-C7 neck surgery varies based on the specific procedure and the individual’s health. Generally, initial recovery may take several weeks, with complete recovery potentially extending over several months to a year. 

Factors influencing this timeline include the type of surgery and the patient’s adherence to post-operative care and physical therapy. For procedures such as Deuk Laser Disc Repair, the surgery takes one hour, with the patient spending approximately 45 to 60 minutes in recovery before being discharged home.

How serious is cervical neck surgery?

Cervical neck surgery, like any other surgery, carries some inherent risks. The severity of these risks depends on several factors, including the specific type of surgery being performed and your overall health.

Minimally invasive procedures, for example, tend to have lower complication rates compared to more complex surgeries like spinal fusions.  Underlying health conditions can also play a role in how well you tolerate the surgery and heal afterward.

Is cervical fusion on c5 c6 c7 successful?

Cervical fusion surgery on C5-C6-C7 can be a successful treatment for some patients experiencing chronic neck pain or radiating arm pain that hasn’t responded to conservative measures. However, it’s crucial to understand the potential downsides before considering surgery.

One of the main concerns surrounding cervical fusion is the possibility of complications. As with any surgery, there’s a risk of infection at the incision site or even within the spinal canal. Additionally, excessive bleeding during surgery can occur. While modern practices have made them less common, there are still inherent risks associated with anesthesia that need to be discussed with your doctor. 

Perhaps the most serious potential complication is nerve damage near the surgical site, which could lead to weakness, numbness, or ongoing pain. In rare cases, there’s also a risk of injury to the spinal cord itself. It’s important to manage expectations, as surgery may not completely eliminate all symptoms in every case.

Beyond the immediate risks of surgery, there are also long-term considerations. Fusing one section of the spine can place more stress on the discs above and below the fused vertebrae, potentially leading to degeneration and issues in those areas in the future. This could necessitate further surgery down the line. Cervical fusion also limits some neck movement, although the degree of limitation depends on the number of vertebrae fused. This loss of mobility can impact flexibility and range of motion in the neck.

To avoid complications of C5-C6-C7 neck surgery, you should consider procedures such as Deuk Spine’s Deuk Laser Disc Repair which has zero surgical complications and a 99.6% success rate. 

Get a free MRI review with Deuk Spine Institute today!

What are permanent restrictions after neck fusion?

Undergoing cervical fusion, especially at the C5-C6-C7 levels, carries risks like any major surgery. These can include the potential for infection, nerve damage that could lead to changes in sensation or movement, difficulty swallowing or speaking, and the possibility of non-union where the bones do not fuse as intended. There’s also a consideration for adjacent segment disease, where the vertebrae above or below the fusion site may degenerate faster due to the altered mechanics of the spine. It’s crucial to discuss these risks thoroughly with a healthcare provider.

Work With the Best Surgeon For Your c5-c6-c7 Neck Surgery 

If you are suffering from chronic pain and searching for the best surgeon for your C5-C6-C7 neck surgery, the best surgeon is Dr Ara Deukmedjian. Dr Ara Deukmedjian also known as Dr Deuk to his patients, has personally performed over 5,000 cervical decompressive discectomies and treated over 2,000 herniated or degenerated lumbar discs with no major complications in addition to hundreds of laser spine surgeries with a 99.6% success rate in the elimination of pain. He also serves as CEO and Medical Director at Deuk Spine Institute.

If you are suffering from chronic back or neck pain, the Deuk Spine Institute encourages and welcomes you to contact us today regarding any questions or concerns you may have about your current situation… 

​​If you or someone you love is experiencing any of the preceding symptoms outlined in this article, it’s time to get a FREE Consultation and MRI Review with the Deuk Spine Institute. We can help relieve your pain and get you back to living life without limitations!

Cure your back and neck pain once and for all.

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