Herniated Disk


Surgical Options

If a disk fragment lodges in the spinal canal and presses on a nerve, surgery may be required. Left untreated, this lodged piece can cause significant loss of body function.

If the herniated disk is in the neck, doctors at the FHCH Sports Medicine Program may recommend an anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion. This involves the removal of the entire disk to take pressure off the spinal cord and nerve roots. A piece of bone is inserted in its place and a metal plate may be added to stabilize the spine. In some cases, surgeons may be able to perform a procedure on the back of the neck that doesn't require the bones to be fused together.

These surgeries are performed under general anesthesia. They can either be on an outpatient basis or require an overnight stay. You should be able to return to work in 2 to 6 weeks after surgery. Before returning to any level of sports activity, you'll want to consult with your doctor first to ensure that you won't risk additional injury or suffer a setback in your recovery.

For causes, symptoms and non-surgical treatment options, click here.

If you have questions about surgical options or want to make an appointment with one of our sports medicine experts to discuss your condition, please contact our Patient Care Coordinators and they'll be happy to help you.