What To Expect During Neck Surgery

Getting surgery is often a very serious occurrence. Not only do you need to take certain steps to prepare for, but recovery isn’t always straightforward.

For those who need neck surgery, there is certain information that should keep in mind regarding what to expect. Let’s take a look at all the info that you need to know.

What Does Neck Surgery Involve?

Neck surgery refers to a medical process that could be one of many different procedures. For instance, someone might need to have treatment for spinal disc degeneration.

Someone else may need to fuse their cervical vertebrae together.

In the section below, we explore the common needs behind this procedure.

What Are Common Reasons Why People Need Neck Surgery?

In general, many neck surgeries are scheduled as a result of injury. A herniated disc, a pinched nerve, or spinal cord compression could all occur during an incident with a large amount of physical trauma.

A car accident, for example, can easily place someone in a situation where they require neck surgery.

Natural causes could also be a factor at play. In fact, arthritis is one of the most common reasons behind people requiring neck surgery.

So, it should be noted that virtually anyone could end up needing surgery done on their neck one day.

What Type of Professional Performs Neck Surgery?

An orthopedic surgeon is the type of medical professional that performs neck surgery. These individuals are trained in providing treatment for bone, joint, and muscle conditions.

However, there are circumstances in which other types of doctors might perform neck surgery. These include neuroradiologists, neurosurgeons, and interventional radiologists.

More often than not, however, an orthopedic surgeon will be the one in charge.

This is something to keep in mind for those who feel anxiety about their approaching surgery. Orthopedic surgeons are highly skilled and are often able to easily meet their performance goals.

What Does the Process Look Like?

As you might expect, neck surgeries take place within a hospital. Occasionally, they require the patient to stay overnight.

This is typically decided by how severe their condition is and how long the surgeon estimates that the procedure will take.

Depending on how invasive your surgery is, your surgeon may or may not need to make a large incision in your neck. Major procedures require general anesthesia, as well.

However, some situations are better suited for sedation instead of anesthesia. This means that you will be drowsy and relaxed instead of asleep throughout the process.

What Are the Different Types of Neck Surgery?

Interestingly, many people are unaware of the fact that there are different types of neck surgeries. The type that is best for your situation will be highly dependent on your current condition.

Let’s explore some of the most common.


The purpose of this procedure is to eliminate pressure that may be pushing on your nerves or spinal cord. It requires your surgeon to make an incision along the backside of your neck.

Afterward, an area of your vertebrae known as the lamina is removed. More often than not, this relieves the pressure that the patient may have been feeling.

Cervical Spinal Fusion

When a certain area of the neck is unstable or when moving your neck causes pain, a cervical spinal fusion may be required.

As the name suggests, this involves fusing two of your vertebrae together to create a single bone.

People often need this procedure after severe car accidents. However, it’s also recommended in many cases when someone has a compressed spinal cord.

Artificial Disc Replacement

Sometimes, a disc in your neck may be placing too much pressure on one of your nerves. Since it would be impractical to remove the disc entirely, a replacement is added instead.

The replacement is generally entirely metal, but it could also be a combination of plastic and metal. You can check out this resource for more information about the different neck surgery types.

What Are the Potential Complications?

As with any other type of surgery, there are numerous complications that could occur. Many of these could have nothing to do with the procedure itself.

For example, some individuals experience adverse reactions to anesthesia.

Depending on the skill of the surgeon, you also risk damage to your blood vessels, muscles, or nerves.

How Should I Prepare?

Preparing for neck surgery is relatively straightforward. Above all else, you need to listen to the instruction of your healthcare professional.

This means that you may be required to get preoperative testing. In some cases, you may even need to lose excess body weight.

It should come as no surprise that you should arrange to have someone take you home after the surgery. You also need to be in somebody else’s company for at least the first 24 hours.

Depending on how the surgery went, you may or may not be required to take medication afterward.

It’s also in your best interest to avoid smoking or drinking alcohol after the procedure. This will help ensure that your recovery goes as intended.

Dealing With Neck Surgery Can Seem Overwhelming

This is particularly true if your neck surgery is fairly involved. The good news, however, is that the above information has everything you need to know about what to expect about neck surgery before the procedure begins.

Want to learn more useful information that can benefit you in the future? Our blog has plenty of great resources you can check out.

Read More: Can Cats Eat Pepperoni?


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