What is the role of surgery to treat cervical radiculopathies?
Over 95% of patients with cervical radiculopathies due to a herniated disc improve with nonsurgical interventions.
Surgery is indicated when symptoms fail to improve or progressive neurologic deficits develop.
The goal of surgery for cervical radiculopathy is adequate decompression of the nerve roots, using either an anterior or posterior approach.
The anterior approach is recommended for medial or central disc herniation or when fusion is contemplated.
A posterior approach is necessitated by a posterolateral disc or osteophytes that are otherwise inaccessible.