Colorado Orthopedic News

Cervical Spondylolysis

Cervical Spondylolysis

While the cervical vertebrae support the head and neck, cervical pain is not the same as neck pain. It is the pain caused by a condition called cervical spondylolysis which is also called cervical osteoarthritis.

Cervical spondylolysis involves changes to the bones, discs, and joints of the neck primarily caused by normal wear-and-tear of aging. The condition is present in more than 90 percent of people aged 60 and older, although the process can begin to happen to someone in their 30s.

In most people older than age 50, the discs between the vertebrae become less spongy and provide less of a cushion. Bones and ligaments get thicker, encroaching on the space of the spinal canal.

More specific causes of cervical pain can include; bone spurs, dehydrated spinal discs, herniated discs, injury, ligament stiffness, or overuse.

Common signs of cervical spondylolysis include a stiff neck that becomes worse, headaches that mostly occur in the back of the head, tingling or numbness that mainly affects the shoulders or arms, (although it can also occur in the legs), and inability to fully turn the head or bend the neck.

Advanced Orthopedic’s doctors treat cervical pain, by providing state-of-the-art, personalized care, and attention from consultation through rehabilitation. They’ll carefully review every symptom—the type of pain, level of pain, where it’s felt most, what brings it on, and what makes it worse. They’ll evaluate the nerves and spinal cord to determine if they are under too much pressure, test your reflexes for muscle weakness or sensory deficits, and examine the range of motion of your neck.

Imaging tests will be done in their state-of-the-art imaging center—x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. An electromyogram (EMG) is used to measure your nerves’ electrical activity. All to rule out what could be more serious conditions.

In most cases, conservative, non-surgical methods of treatment are usually very effective; including physical therapy, muscle relaxants, pain relief medication to manage pain caused by nerve damage, steroid injections to reduce tissue inflammation, and prescription NSAIDs to relieve pain. Cervical pain can be incredibly disruptive to daily life. Advanced Ortho’s highly trained surgeons and physicians are backed by a supportive team of administrative and clinical professionals who take a personalized, focused, and comprehensive approach to your orthopedic health. Our goal is to be your first choice for cervical pain care. From scheduling and imaging to physical therapy and more, we are committed to providing the best experience and outcomes for each patient. Our offices are conveniently located across the front range and it’s easy to make an appointment.


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