Wesley H. Bronson, MD, MSB
Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

The Mount Sinai Hospital
5 East 98th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10029
Phone: 212-241-5435
Fax: 646-537-9449

Mount Sinai Doctors - Scarsdale
341 Central Park Avenue
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Phone: 212-241-5435
Fax: 646-537-9449

Cervical Disc Herniation / Cervical Radiculopathy

What is a cervical disc herniation? What is cervical radiculopathy?

The easiest way to understand cervical (referring to the neck) disc herniations is to see the spine as consisting of the bones, called the vertebrae, and the discs, which are the soft jelly-like parts of the spine. The discs are actually similar to jelly donuts, with a hard fibrous outside and a soft jelly-like inside (called the nucleus pulosis). A cervical disc herniation occurs when some of the jelly inside the donut escapes outside of the donut. When that jelly pushes out towards the spinal canal, it can put pressure on one of the nerves and cause a constellation of symptoms including pain, numbness/tingling, or weakness in the arm and hand, which we call “cervical radiculopathy” or a pinched nerve in the neck. Sometimes there can be pressure on the spinal cord and cause a different problem called cervical myelopathy 

What are the symptoms of a pinched nerve in the neck?

  • Neck pain
  • Pain between the shoulder blades or around the shoulder
  • Pain, numbness, tingling in the shoulder, arm or the hand
  • Weakness in the shoulder, arm, or hand

What causes cervical radiculopathy?

  • In younger patients, disc herniations can put pressure on the nerve
  • In older patients, age-related degeneration (called spondylosis) can result in bone spurs or narrowing of nerve tunnels and similarly cause a pinched nerve
  • Some patients have congenital (born with) stenosis (narrowing), and have a small spinal canal which predisposes them to become symptomatic

What are the treatment options for cervical radiculopathy / cervical disc herniations?

Dr. Wesley Bronson believes that many patients with a pinched nerve in the neck can be treated non-operatively, and generally guides treatment with a combination of: 

  • Physical therapy
  • Pain medications (NSAIDS, steroids, etc)
  • Epidural Injections
  • Chiropracty
  • Acupuncture

Surgery is generally reserved for patients who have not improved with non-operative treatment or those with significant neurologic symptoms. This will depend on patient symptoms as well as Dr. Bronson's physical exam and evaluation of imaging.

What type of neck surgery does dr. Wesley bronson perform to address a pinched nerve in the neck?

Dr. Bronson is an expert in several different minimally invasive spine surgery procedures to manage cervical disc herniations and cervical radiculopathy that depend on multiple factors, and each patient is different. These neck surgery options can include:

  • Cervical Disc Replacement / Cervical Disc Arthroplasty
  • Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)
  • Cervical foraminotomy

What does recovery generally look like after surgery?

  • Patients often go home the same day of surgery or stay overnight and go home in the morning
  • A soft collar can be worn for comfort for 1 and 2 level surgery
  • Recovery is generally between 2-6 weeks and patients can return to most types of work a few weeks after surgery

If you think you are experiencing symptoms of a pinched nerve / cervical radiculopathy, please call and make an appointment to see Dr. Bronson in the office for a complete evaluation.

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Spinal conditions treated by Wesley Bronson, MD | New York Spine Surgeon in Manhattan & Scarsdale

Conditions We Treat

Dr. Bronson is experienced in treating complex spinal conditions including spinal trauma, tumors, stenosis, disc herniation, myelopathy, radiculopathy, scoliosis, sciatica, spondylolysis, sponsylolisthesis, kyphosis, and more.

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Orthopedic procedures performed by Wesley Bronson, MD | New York Spine Surgeon in Manhattan & Scarsdale

Common Surgeries Performed

Dr. Bronson’s clinical focus comprises the full gamut of cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spinal conditions, ranging from outpatient minimally invasive procedures to complex adult spinal deformity and scoliosis surgery.

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Mount Sinai office locations of Wesley Bronson, MD | New York Spine Surgeon in Manhattan & Scarsdale

World Class Medical Facilities

Mount Sinai Health System hospitals rank among the finest nationwide when it comes to excellence in delivery of patient care, and Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked worldwide in four specialties including orthopedics.

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