A herniated disc between your C5 and C6 cervical vertebrae is painful. Sometimes referred to as a slipped or ruptured disc, it occurs when the intervertebral disc between the vertebrae in your spine becomes damaged. An Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) is the most common spine surgery to treat a C5/C6 herniated disc. However, other surgical options can be equally effective and include anterior cervical foraminotomy or anterior cervical discectomy with artificial disc arthroplasty.
A C5/C6 herniated disc is a debilitating spine condition that significantly affects the patient’s quality of life. As the herniation worsens, it can cause discomfort and pain, numbness or a “pins and needles” sensation, and the loss of motor function. In extreme cases, it may progress to weakness and numbness in the arms and legs, loss of dexterity, and difficulty walking or maintaining balance.
Renowned Dallas neurosurgeon Dr. Barnett recommends surgery only when other options have failed to provide relief or if the patient has significant neurologic deficits. This often means that non-surgical treatment paths, such as physical therapy or steroidal injections, have failed to restore the patient’s quality of life. The next step may be minimally invasive surgery to relieve the pressure on the nerves or spinal cord.
If surgery is indicated, there are three different surgical techniques depending on the patient’s circumstances and MRI findings. Dr. Barnett begins with a small incision in the neck, and a thin layer of muscle is moved aside to expose the intervertebral disc. The disc is removed and most importantly the part of the disc which has herniated or any bone spurs are removed away from the nerves. A graft is placed where the injured disc was located, and a small titanium plate is installed at the front of the vertebrae for stability during the healing process. The other option to replace the disc is an artificial disc for select patients. Finally, the other surgery technique available for select patients, is anterior cervical foraminotomy with microdiscectomy alone.
Conservative and Compassionate Treatment
In practice for over 30 years, Dr. David Barnett is the former Chief of Neurological Surgery at Baylor University Medical Center, where he served in that capacity for 20 years. He offers his expertise and conservative treatment of herniated discs. If you’ve been diagnosed with a degenerative disc disease and told that surgical intervention is the best treatment, you may want to get a second opinion from Dr. Barnett.
He is a leader in minimally invasive, microscopic techniques and believes that patients should feel confident they are making the best choice for their health. He does not rush into surgery and takes a thorough approach to reach each diagnosis and recommended treatment.
Dr. David Barnett is a specialist in cervical spine conditions, ready to help you return to a pain-free, active life. One of the most trusted neurosurgeons in North Texas, he’ll work to understand and treat your condition, including the least invasive surgical option that gives you the best opportunity for a full recovery. Contact us to schedule your appointment with Dr. Barnett today.