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Cervical Conditions Specialist

Jeff Pan, MD

Neurosurgery & Spine Specialist located in Edison, NJ

Your neck, shoulder, or arm pain may develop from any number of causes, including various cervical conditions. Jeff Pan, MD, in Edison, New Jersey, is an experienced neurosurgeon who takes an integrative and conservative approach to care. He specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cervical conditions and provides many therapies aimed at alleviating pain, restoring function, and improving the quality of life. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

Cervical Conditions Q&A

What are cervical conditions?

Your cervical spine or neck is the most flexible part of your spinal column, which allows you to move your head in a wide range of directions. Unfortunately, the mobility of your cervical spine also makes it more vulnerable to injury and discomfort.

There are many cervical conditions that affect the neck, including:

Cervical degenerative disc disease (DDD)

As you get older, the intervertebral discs that separate the vertebrae that make up your cervical spine dry out, shrink, and lose some of their strength and resilience. When this affects the neck, it’s called cervical DDD. 

Cervical disc herniation

Cervical disc herniation occurs when the soft gel-like center of the intervertebral disc pushes through the tough exterior and presses on your spinal canal or nerves. The nucleus of the disc also releases chemicals that irritate the surrounding nerves, resulting in pain and inflammation. 

Cervical stenosis

Cervical stenosis is a narrowing of the cervical spine, which may then compress the spinal cord or nerve roots. 

Cervical strains and sprains

Cervical strains and sprains are a common cause of neck pain and may develop from poor posture or whiplash after an auto accident. 

Craniocervical instability

Craniocervical instability increases mobility (and instability) at the craniocervical junction, which is where your skull and cervical spine join together. 

Cervical radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy is a compressed nerve root in your neck. 

Spinal tumors

Spinal tumors are abnormal growths that affect your spine. 

What happens during an evaluation for cervical conditions?

Dr. Pan takes an integrative and conservative approach to care and conducts thorough clinical exams when you come in with complaints of neck, arm, or shoulder pain. The goal of the exam is to find the root cause of your pain, so you get the most effective treatment.

During your evaluation, Dr. Pan asks detailed questions about your symptoms, including the type of pain you feel, when it started, and the activities that worsen your symptoms. 

He performs a physical exam and runs diagnostic tests to confirm or rule out a diagnosis, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. He may also order nerve conduction studies if you experience numbness or tingling in your arms or hands.

How are cervical conditions treated?

Treatment for your cervical condition depends on the underlying cause. 

Though an experienced neurosurgeon, Dr. Pan takes a conservative approach to care and may recommend non-surgical interventions to alleviate your symptoms and cervical condition, such as anti-inflammatory medication, pain medication, injections, and physical therapy.

If non-surgical treatments fail to alleviate your symptoms or your condition worsens, Dr. Pan may recommend surgical intervention such as:

  • Artificial disc replacement
  • Discectomy
  • Cervical spinal fusion
  • Laminotomy
  • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)
  • Laminoplasty
  • Decompressive laminectomy

He uses the latest technology in spinal instrumentation and performs minimally invasive spinal surgery to reduce post-surgical pain and recovery. Dr. Pan also performs complex spinal reconstruction procedures when needed.

For expert care of your cervical condition, call the office of Jeff Pan, MD, or request an appointment online today.