Whiplash is the most common car accident injury. Though it comes in many variations, it always calls for accurate diagnosis and treatment. Whiplash treatments generally begin on the conservative side of the spectrum. When these options fail, surgery can be considered. In this article we will offer two specific surgical treatments that can help reduce pain from a whiplash injury.
The most common surgical procedure to correct symptoms from a whiplash injury is the spinal fusion. The ACDF (Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion) surgery is a tried and true method for reducing whiplash pain and other symptoms. The surgery involves extracting the herniated spinal disc, and then fusing the adjacent vertebral bones together. This reduces nerve pain and provides stabilization in the area.
Total Disc Replacement
Total disc replacement surgery is an alternative surgical option to spinal fusion surgery. In this procedure, the degenerative spinal disc in the neck is removed and replaced with an artificial disc. There are several FDA approved artificial discs that may be used, but most are made of plastic, titanium, and other metals or composites. Though it is a newer procedure than the spinal fusion, many surgeons and patients find that the total disc replacement procedure provides more mobility post-op compared to the cervical spinal fusion. In other words, patients can move their necks more freely with an artificial disc, compared to the spinal hardware that comes with a fusion.
It is a common misconception that whiplash is a minor injury. Whiplash from a car accident can cause serious neck pain and other complications if not properly addressed and treated quickly after a car accident. If you have been in a car crash and your neck hurts, make an appointment with a pain physician today to get the treatment you need and deserve.