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Neck Surgery

Neck Surgery/ Cervical

Comprehensive Treatment for Neck Pain at Medica

A person can suffer from neck pain due to various reasons. Some conditions are acute while others are long-term and often painful. Neck surgery is identified as a potential solution for long-term neck problems. Yet, it is seldom chosen as an option.

Neck pain often goes away on its own. Sometimes, traditional or conservative treatments are needed. These are non-surgical treatments. These aim at minimizing neck pain as well as improving function. These treatments can include:

  • Prescription or over-the-counter medications
  • Physical therapy and home exercises
  • Heat and ice therapy
  • Steroid injections for swelling and neck pain
  • Short-term check with a neck collar

Opt for neck surgery only when other options are unavailable. When traditional methods cannot help, neck surgery can be the best option. With advanced infrastructure, expert doctors, and staff, Medica offers unmatched treatment to all our patients suffering from such kinds of medical conditions.


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What are the Conditions that require Neck Surgery?

Neck pain can be due to several reasons. Not all reasons need neck surgery. But, some conditions call for neck surgery as the only option. This is true in case non-invasive treatments were not effective. Conditions for surgery are usually age-related or injury-related. It can also be due to worsening conditions like osteoarthritis. Injuries, degenerative changes result in bone spurs and slip disks in the neck. This results in pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. Thus, symptoms like numbness, weakness, and pain generate.

Neck conditions that need neck surgery are:

  • Pinched Nerve: In this condition, a specific nerve root faces excess pressure
  • Compressed Spinal Cord: This condition is compression or irritation of spinal code. This can be due to neck injury, bone wearing
  • Broken Neck: Breaking of one or more bones in the neck

The Anatomy of the Neck

The cervical spine(neck area) starts at the base of the skull, and is made up of seven vertebrae. The spinal cord and its nerves run through an aperture through the entire vertebral column. The brain sends messages to the rest of the body, including muscles and organs, via the spinal cord and nerves. Cervical pain is the pain caused due to cervical spondylolysis or osteoarthritis.

The term “cervical” comes from the Latin root “cervix,” which means “neck.”

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Symptoms of Cervical Pain

One would be experiencing the following symptoms if suffering from neck or cervical pain:

  • Stiffness of neck (no movement)
  • Headache
  • Muscle tightness
  • Holding your head in one spot for long periods of time can aggravate pain

What is Cervical Spine Surgery and How Does It Work?

  • Cervical spine surgery may be recommended by your orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon to treat neck discomfort, numbness, tingling, and weakness, restore nerve function, and stop or prevent aberrant neck motion.
  • The vertebrae are fused together with a bone transplant either in front of or behind the spine by your surgeon removing a disc or a bone and fusing them together with a bone graft.
  • An autograft (bone obtained from your own body) or an allograft (bone taken from another person) are the two types of bone grafts available (donor bone from a bone bank).
  • Metal plates and screws are sometimes used to help support the spine. Instrumentation is the term for these methods. When the vertebrae are surgically stabilized, aberrant motion is stopped and spinal nerve function is restored.
  • A cervical disc replacement, which uses an artificial disc to allow neck motion while stabilizing the spine, is an alternative to spinal fusion.

What Conditions Can Cervical Spine Surgery Help With?

Degenerative Disc Disease: Degenerative disease causes the discs or cushion pads between your vertebrae to decrease, causing disc wear and possibly herniation. Your spine may also have arthritic regions. Because of the pressure on the spinal nerves, this deterioration can produce pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness.

Cervical Deformity: Patients with hyperlordosis or swan neck deformity in their cervical spine may benefit from surgery to straighten and stabilize the spine. The cervical spine can be affected by upper neck problems, commonly known as craniocervical or craniovertebral junction abnormalities. Because of its flexibility, the neck is prone to damage. The cervical vertebra can be fractured or dislocated as a result of certain injuries. The spinal cord may be injured as well in a severe accident. Patients who have a fracture, particularly those who have suffered spinal cord damage, must have surgery to alleviate pressure on the spinal cord and stabilize the spine.

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The majority of neck pain improves over time with home treatment. Consult your physician if this is not the case. If you have severe neck discomfort as a result of an injury, such as a car accident, diving accident, or a fall, seek medical help right away.

If your neck pain persists and if you are showing the following signs, see a doctor:

  • Very painful
  • Accompanied by pain in other local parts of the body
  • Headache
  • Numbness
  • Weakness of limbs
  • Have trouble walking

A variety of spinal neck disorders may require cervical spine surgery. Degenerative conditions, trauma, and instability are all common reasons for surgery. These diseases can put strain on the spinal cord or nerves that exit the spine.

The Various Types of Neck Surgeries are:

  • Cervical Spinal Fusion: In this surgery selected neck bones are joined.
  • Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF): Here the damaged disc is removed for relieving nerve pressure and pain.
  • Anterior Cervical Corpectomy and Fusion (ACCF): The surgery removes the larger bone spurs with arthritis. These bone spurs compress the spinal nerves and spinal cord and cause pain.
  • Laminectomy: Here spinal bone is removed either or completely. This helps in reducing spinal cord pressure. The pressure results from injury, tumors, slip disk, or canal becoming narrow.
  • Laminoplasty: In this surgery, the bony upper part of the spinal canal is removed. It enlarges the spinal canal. It is for easing pain and numbness.
  • Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR): Here the damaged or worn out part between the spinal bones is replaced with an artificial disk.
  • Posterior Cervical Surgery: This surgery is done to relieve weakness and pain from the strained spinal nerves.
  • Bone Graft: A surgical process using transplanted bone from any part of the body. The bone is used for rebuilding and repairing damaged bones. The surgery is usually conducted by spine surgeons.


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The risk factors in neck surgery are limited. Yet, there are certain risks with the surgery. The doctor must inform you about these risks. Identify potential challenges and their strategies. Some neck surgery risks are:

  • Surgical site bleeding
  • Surgical site infection
  • Injury to spinal cord or spinal nerves
  • Spinal fluid leaking
  • Paralysis of the arms
  • Areas surrounding surgical site degenerating
  • Stiffness or chronic pain after surgery
  • Incomplete fusion
  • Dislodging or loosening or plates and screws

There is also a risk of surgery not relieving the pain. You may then need additional neck surgery in future.

Risks associated with location of the surgery include:

  • Anterior Surgery: Risks include trouble breathing, swallowing or hoarseness. It can also damage arteries and our food pipe.
  • Posterior Surgery: Nerve stretching and artery damage
  • The output of cervical disc surgery is a concern among patients. Patients often fear that the symptoms could get worse after surgery. Yet, neck surgery has the highest success rate. As a patient, you should be confident of your decision to undergo surgery. The success of the surgery is dependent on the accurate diagnosis of the issue. Only then neck pain can be reduced.

Recovery period is dependent on the hospital facilities. At Medica, you can recover in 24-48 hours after surgery. The exact time is generally based on surgery type and severity. Recovery period is dependent on the following factors:

  • Discomfort or pain while recovering is common. Doctors will prescribe medication and therapy for relieving pain. Most people are able to eat and walk within 24 hours after surgery.
  • Recovery after surgery is recommended. These include light activities and exercises. You should avoid any strenuous work. Driving, working, or lifting objectives are avoided. You should keep in constant touch with your doctor. The doctor will suggest when to resume day-to-day activities.
  • Cervical Collar is often needed following surgery. This is to protect and stabilize the neck. Your practitioner will also provide instructions on how to wear the collar.
  • Physical Therapy is recommended a few weeks into surgery. This stage is important for restoring strength. It also helps in establishing motion and range to the neck. You should take the therapy schedule and exercises seriously. They are important for quick and successful recovery.
  • Physical therapy can be done at the hospital. It can also be done at home with an appointment. Hospital-based therapy is suitable when equipment is needed. For light therapy, home appointments are preferred.
  • Diet should be healthy and proper. Avoid smoking, practice good posture, and exercise. You must stick to your exercise and recovery plan. This will help in achieving a positive outcome.
  • Recovery Time varies based on your surgery. At Medica, full recovery is done as soon as 6 months. Success of the recovery is measured with spinal fusion becoming solid.

Neck pain normally goes away in a few days or weeks, but pain that lasts for months could indicate that there is an underlying medical problem that needs to be addressed. Early intervention may be required in some circumstances to achieve the greatest results.

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