Neck Hernia


The cervical vertebra, or neck spine, consists of 7 vertebral bodies starting from the base of the skull. In the middle of each vertebral body is the spinal cord, which is a continuation of the brain. Sensations returning to the brain from various parts of the body or orders distributed from the brain to the body travel within the spinal cord. Nerves emerging from the nerve channels between the vertebrae in the neck area spread to the arms and back, providing sensation and movement to these areas. Between the vertebrae, there is the outer part (annulus fibrosus) and inner part (nucleus pulposus) of the disc tissue, which we call the cushion. A cervical disc hernia occurs when the gelatin-like inner part tears the outer part, which consists of a stronger connective tissue, and puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

Cervical disc herniation, which is divided into two different periods: chronic and acute, occurs due to problems in the discs between the vertebrae. First of all, the spine resists external forces and ensures the continuation of movement function. Naturally, it has two conflicting properties, such as being mobile or remaining stationary. The wear of the spinal discs over time causes problems such as cervical disc herniation and the difficulties it causes. In addition, since the discs in the spine are mobile by nature, in some cases there may be situations such as rupture or pressure on the nerves.

What Causes Cervical Disc Herniation?

There may be different situations in which this disorder occurs. The neck area has a more delicate structure than the waist area. Therefore, neck deformations can be seen at an early age. Before individuals learn about cervical disc herniation and the difficulties it causes, they should know that this risk is higher in tall people. Because tall individuals have weaker muscle structures. It has been determined that smoking, along with environmental factors, also causes cervical disc herniation.

People who have smoked for 20 years or more have a high risk of developing a cervical disc herniation. At the same time, cervical disc herniation is a genetic problem. If a family member experiences this disease, it increases the likelihood of it occurring in other people. Finally, factors such as sleeping positions and improper work also invite cervical disc herniation.

Risk Factors in Cervical Disc Herniation

Working as a driver for a long time, having a traffic accident or any trauma poses a risk of cervical disc herniation and the difficulties it causes. In addition, incorrect positions in the neck and weakness in the neck muscles also cause cervical disc herniation. Other risk factors;

  • Tiredness
  • Stress
  • Wrong posture positions
  • Incorrect massage applications
    using a computer for a long time
  • It is listed as dealing with activities such as hanging curtains, cleaning, housework and sewing and embroidery for a long time.
  • Cervical Disc Herniation Symptoms

Patients complain of pain that starts from the neck and spreads to the arms. Pain may spread to the fingertips and be accompanied by numbness. There may be loss of strength in the arm where the pain radiates. Patients may complain about dropping heavy objects they hold onto the ground. The pain may be severe enough to wake you up at night. If the spinal cord and nerve root compression due to a cervical disc herniation progresses further, complaints of walking difficulty, imbalance, urinary and fecal incontinence may begin.

The symptoms of cervical disc herniation, which occurs after the age of 30, vary depending on the severity and duration of the disease. However, the most common symptoms today are;

  • Pain radiating to the fingertips
  • Pain in arms
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty in balancing
  • It is a loss of strength in the arm where the pain is experienced.
  • Cervical Disc Herniation Diagnosis

After detailed history and physical examination, the diagnosis is clarified with imaging methods in patients with suspected cervical disc herniation. While the diagnosis is most commonly made with cervical spine MRI, Computerized Tomography is used if MRI cannot be performed. In case of suspicion of nerve compression, EMG may be performed to distinguish the severity of the pressure and other causes that may cause it.

Cervical Disc Herniation Treatment

In the treatment of this disease, the course of the disease is first considered. In mild cases of cervical disc herniation, a stress-free life and rest are recommended. In addition, physical therapy and drug therapy are also methods to be used.

If patients have weakness or numbness in the arms, surgical treatment may be necessary. EMG (electromyography) and MRI examinations are essential to make a decision. After the examinations, operative treatment is considered for cervical disc herniations that will put pressure on the nerve roots.

If a course of physical therapy, exercises, corsets to be used in certain periods are no longer sufficient, and the quality of life deteriorates due to pain and limitation of movement, surgery should be recommended to patients.

If there is only pain: medication + short-term rest + physical therapy
If there is pain and numbness: medication + physical therapy + auxiliary treatment methods such as neural therapy and acupuncture.
If there is loss of strength: Surgery

Cervical Disc Disc Surgery

Neck surgeries have become much easier with developing technology. The hernia is now accessed through a small incision from the front of the neck, and the surgery takes thirty to forty minutes.

It produces. The patient is able to stand up two hours after the surgery and is discharged on the same day. There is almost no risk of injury or paralysis in these surgeries performed with microsurgery. The patient can return to work within a week or ten days.

Situations That Should Never Be Expected

  • Walking disorder
  • Dropping objects from hand
  • Imbalance
  • Night waking pain
  • Weakness in arm muscles