Dr. Andre Shaffer is a board certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in surgical, procedural, and non-surgical management of spine, pelvis, and traumatic orthopedic conditions, including degenerative and deformity conditions of the spine and pelvis. When surgery is indicated, Dr. Shaffer emphasizes the use of minimally invasive surgical techniques in his spine and trauma practice. Dr. Shaffer prides himself in treating each patient as if a family member and working diligently to explore management options, both surgical and non-surgical, in order to discuss and select the most beneficial course with each person.
Cervical Disc Herniations
Cervical (neck) disc herniations are one of the most common ailments that Dr. Shaffer treats. Spinal discs are firm, gel-like, pads between the majority of the bones in your neck and back. These discs act as “shock absorbers” and keep the vertebrae (bones) separated from one another while allowing motion within the neck and spine. The discs allow for enough space in between each bone so that nerves can comfortably pass from your spinal cord to the arms, trunk, legs and to other parts of your body. A cervical disc herniation most commonly results from a degenerative condition to the disc in your neck but they can also occur from a traumatic injury, such as a car accident or sports injury.
Neck Herniated Disc Symptoms & Treatments
The symptoms most commonly associated with cervical disc herniations are neck pain, numbness/tingling down the arms, and arm weakness. Large disc herniations that compress the spinal cord can cause walking / gait dysfunction. Dr. Shaffer offers multiple different treatments for cervical disc herniations. Some non-surgical options include cervical traction, (which gently helps relieve some of the pressure on the exiting nerves resulting in pain relief), physical therapy, and multi-modal medications that act to reduce nerve pain, muscle spasm and inflammation.
For many patients, targeted physical therapy and medications effectively resolve the pain completely. For some patients, conservative options do not provide enough pain relief and surgical options will need to be considered. Dr. Shaffer offers many surgical options including decompression surgeries, disc replacements, as well as many other surgeries / techniques that will significantly reduce symptoms fairly quickly by relieving pressure on pinched or compressed nerve structures.
At your appointment with Dr. Shaffer, he will listen carefully to the history and nature of your pain, the cause of your injury, and what your health goals are going forward. He will then carefully explain all surgical and non-surgical treatment options and answer any questions you may have. Together, you will create a customized treatment plan to promptly help you feel better and return back to the active, pain-free life you desire.