Patient Information Resources

Alpine Physical Therapy
Three Locations
In North, South, and Downtown Missoula
Missoula, MT 59804
Ph: 406-251-2323
Fax: 406-251-2999

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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My doctor has advised me to have a cervical discectomy. What are the benefits of this operation?

Aging or injury can cause damage to the discs between the bones of the spine. If the disc presses out of its space, itís called herniation. The protruding disc can put pressure on the spinal nerves, causing many problems. Taking the disc out (discectomy)can relieve painful symptoms and restore strength and function. Some studies even show improved mental capacity after this operation. Most likely, this occurs as a result of decreased pain. Changes in sensation and motor function can occur with a disc herniation. The arms and hands may become numb or weak. Swallowing can be difficult. Loss of bladder function is even possible when the disc in the neck area protrudes and presses against the spinal cord. Removing the disc doesnít always return the patient to normal function. There may be part or complete recovery. Discectomy will keep the patient from getting worse.


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