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Posterior Cervical Microdiscectomy Risks and Success Rate in Portland, Oregon

What Are the Risks of Posterior Cervical Microdiscectomy?

The most common complications is failure to relieve all pain. Spinal fluid leak occurs in about 1% of cases and can require hospitalization to allow time to heal.

Nerve injury resulting in weakness in part of the arm or hand occurs in 1–2% of cases. The chance of paralysis is extremely low. Infection occurs in 1–2% of cases. Wrong level surgery can occur but chances of this are minimized by Dr. Button’s use of live x-ray during the surgery to locate the proper disc.

What is the Chance of a Successful Outcome from Posterior Cervical Microdiscectomy?

A posterior cervical microdiscectomy is about 80% successful in relieving pain in the arms. Pain relief is typically quite rapid, although in specific instances, it may take six to eight weeks for the nerve to calm down. If a nerve has been pinched for a long time, the success rate is rarely 100% as there is usually some residual mild tingling, weakness, or pain, all of which are fairly tolerable.

When Should You Have Surgery?

Our overall advice for this type of surgery is the same for any other spine surgery, which is to live with the pain you are experiencing if you can. The reason for undergoing the operation is that the pain or weakness is making life so uncomfortable or difficult that you are willing to accept the chance of a result that is less that 100% successful.

Dr. Button is experienced in posterior cervical microdiscectomy and fusion and if you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss this or other procedures further, click here.

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