Removal of the slipped disc through the front of the neck. Fusion: a cage or bone graft is inserted to replace the removed disc. A plate might be added in some cases for additional stability.
Decompression of spinal cord (myelopathy) and nerve roots (radiculopathy). Fusion: stabilisation of the spine. The operation usually does not improve neck pain unless there is proven instability. Neck pain is often due to wear and tear and the operation will not change this.
Infection, bleeding, cerebrospinal fluid leak, neurological damage including paralysis, hoarse voice which is usually transient but can be permanent, stroke, no improvement of symptoms, death in cases of high cervical cord injuries, failure of the inserted cage or plate. Overall, it is a standard and safe procedure, which has small but potentially very serious risks.
24-48 hours after operation in majority of cases
Always general anaesthesia