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Cervical Arthritis

Cervical arthritis typically occurs as a result of aging, though injury can exacerbate the condition. Cervical arthritis is a disease that worsens over time, degenerating the bones and discs of the upper part of the spine (the neck). With cervical arthritis, the bones begin to deteriorate as do the discs between them, which act as shock absorbers for bodily movements.

Sometimes the body will attempt to correct degenerating joints by forming bone spurs, bony projections that are meant to help distribute weight across the joints. However, these bone spurs often do more harm than good, and can put pressure on the spinal discs, causing them to rupture. When a disc ruptures, or herniates, more spinal complications can arise from the disc material floating loose the spinal canal and putting further pressure on stressed nerves.

How is Cervical Arthritis Diagnosed and Treated?
Cervical arthritis is diagnosed through a variety of methods. If you have pain and/or numbness in your neck, arms or other parts of your body, your doctor will likely take X-rays to see the condition of the cervical bones. CT scans and MRIs can give an even clearer picture of the problem.

Serious cases of cervical arthritis can benefit from surgical treatment. At the Bonati Institute for Arthroscopic Surgery (www.bonati.com), a procedure is used that significantly minimizes discomfort, recovery time, and complications. The Bonati Arthroscopic Laser Cervical Decompression-Posterior Approach is often the best option for this condition, requiring only tiny incisions and using laser technology to remove problematic bone spurs and enlarged ligaments.

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