Cervical Disc Herniation

What you need to know

A common problem that can produce pain, numbness or weakness down the arm to the fingers. The disc is the material between the two bones that acts as a cushion and shock absorber which also allows for neck motion. Sometimes the discs weaken and wear out. A tear can be produced in the periphery of the disc (annulus) which allows for the material within the disc to rupture and squeeze out. This material can then put pressure on the nerves and the spinal cord, which can lead to arm pain.

The nerves in the neck also control muscle strength and sensation and in severe cases, the herniation will lead to numbness and weakness of the arm. The imaging test of choice is a MRI which can directly assess the location and severity of the herniation within the spinal canal.

Most patients do not need urgent surgery and try numerous non operative treatments to resolve the pain. These include anti-inflammatories, nerve pain pills, muscle relaxants, rest and physical therapy. If these options fail, an epidural steroid injection can be performed to provide relief.

If conservative treatments fail, there are several surgical solutions that can be performed. These include removal of the disc herniation to take the pressure of the nerves and spinal cord, which is commonly either a fusion procedure or a disc replacement.

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Cervical Spine Fusion

Cervical spine fusion is a type of neck surgery where two or more cervical spine vertebrae are fused together. This eliminates painful vertebrae motion, as well as provides more space for the nerve roots and spinal cord to heal.
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Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)

An anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a type of disc replacement where a small incision is made in the front of the neck, allowing for the removal of the intervertebral disc is removed. It is replaced by a small plug of bone, which will fuse the vertebrae over time.

Patrick J. Horan, MD, MBA, FACS

Patrick J. Horan is an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist with two decades of experience. He is board-certified in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Duke University in Durham, N.C., Dr. Horan earned his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. Residency and Internship were both completed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He also received an MBA from Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.

Dr. Horan served 10 years on active duty in the US Army as an orthopaedic surgeon before entering into private practice. Dr. Horan is the founder of the Westchase Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation and the official surgeon of the Tampa Bay Rowdies. He maintains professional memberships with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Sports Medicine and the Arthroscopy Association of North America.

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Dr. Patrick Horan and the other orthopedic surgeons and specialists at Westchase Orthopedics & Rehabilitation have served hundreds of patients in the Tampa Bay area. Our patients choose us because we are able to offer them viable solutions to their pain. We offer hope to patients who have been athletes for years and suddenly find themselves faced with the possibility of never playing again, to elderly patients who want to maintain their independence and do things like drive and grocery shop alone, to parents who aren’t sure what is wrong with their children’s knees or elbows and want answers. Unlike in many other practices, you are not treated like just a number; we take the time to listen to your concerns and symptoms, accurately diagnose the source of the problem, and walk you through what will happen during the course of treatment. Get in touch with our office today to schedule an appointment!

Testimonials

Dr Horan has done a few of my knee surgeries and has always been the best surgeon. Dr Lao has been my physical therapist for every knee surgery and his results are proven and outstanding. I’d be in bad shape if it wasn’t for dr Lao and his staff who go above and beyond to do what’s needed.

Testimonials

Dr. Lao is simply the best! His intense educational training and specialty of the spine are something that you seldom come across these days. When I lived in Bradenton for 9 months I would drive over an hour just to see him because he was the only one I trusted with my physical issues. His assistant Sam is wonderful and Lisa at the front desk is always very helpful! There is another PT there that I have not treated with, but I only hear great things about him! 🙂 I will not go anywhere else.

Testimonials

This review encompasses both Dr Horan's orthopaedic side of the business & Dr Lao's physical therapy side. I have no idea if their practices are actually related, but there's only one street sign & only one Yelp check-in. Luckily, I think both doctors are excellent.

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