Neck Pain

Sherwin Hua, MD

Neurosurgeon located in the Bay Area, California

Neck pain can vary from the occasional twinge or ache to pain so severe and disabling that you can’t turn your head. Whatever the cause of your neck pain, board-certified neurosurgeon Sherwin Hua, MD, can help. Dr. Hua is a world-renowned pioneer in spine surgery, and he welcomes patients from throughout the Bay Area to his DimeSpine Neurosurgery practice, which has locations in Campbell, Hayward, San Francisco, and San Jose, California. Dr. Hua provides a comprehensive range of treatments for neck pain, including his patented DimeSpine minimally invasive surgical technique. Find out more by calling DimeSpine Neurosurgery today, or requesting an appointment online.

Neck Pain Q & A

What causes neck pain?

Neck pain is sometimes a symptom of infections or systemic diseases, but it’s most often due to musculoskeletal deterioration or injury. Some conditions that commonly cause neck pain include:

  • Ligament injuries
  • Spondylosis
  • Herniated discs
  • Muscle strains
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerve)

Dr. Hua can diagnose the cause of your neck pain after discussing your symptoms and carrying out a physical exam. He looks for restrictions in your range of movement and signs of nerve damage, and he might arrange for one or more diagnostic imaging tests such as X-rays, a CT scan, or a diagnostic spinal injection called a nerve block. 

How is neck pain treated?

For most patients, conservative approaches are successful in treating neck pain. Your treatment program could include:

  • Pain relief medication 
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Tricyclic antidepressants 
  • Use of a soft collar
  • Physical therapy
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Trigger point injections
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Selective nerve root blocks
  • Facet joint injections
  • Radiofrequency ablation

If these approaches aren’t producing results after an extended period of treatment, spinal surgery might be the best option.

What types of surgery can treat my neck pain?

Several different surgical techniques could be used to treat your neck pain, including:

  • Cervical laminectomy
  • Discectomy
  • Spinal fusion
  • Artificial disc replacement

A cervical laminectomy is a procedure that’s quite common when neck pain is due to conditions like cervical stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck area) and spondylosis. Laminectomy involves removing the top part of the vertebra to allow more room for the spinal cord.

Unfortunately, a multi-level laminectomy in the cervical spine could cause instability, and a condition called post-laminectomy syndrome. In some cases, people who undergo multi-level cervical laminectomy develop neurological dysfunction because the neck becomes increasingly misaligned and curved.

Instead of laminectomy, Dr. Hua uses an alternative surgical procedure called laminoplasty. Rather than removing the lamina, laminoplasty adapts the lamina to make more room. Dr. Hua detaches one side of the lamina and creates a hinge on the side that’s still attached. The lamina can then open like a door.

Dr. Hua puts a plate on the side where the lamina opens to ensure the door stays open. Laminoplasty has advantages over laminectomy because it preserves the structural integrity of your spine, while still making enough room for the spinal cord.

If you have neck pain and want access to one of the world’s leading spine surgeons, call DimeSpine today to learn more about advanced neck pain treatments, or request an appointment online.