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Neck | Cervical

Neck pain can become unbearable quickly because you use your neck so often throughout the day. Since your cervical spine is built of so many delicate, flexible pieces, you need an expert to find the right treatment for your crippling neck and upper back pain. Dr. Branko Skovrlj at NU-Spine in New Jersey understands the limitations you face when you live with persistent neck pain. He's devoted his practice to resolve all kinds of back pain with state-of-the-art, minimally invasive surgical techniques. Call today for an appointment.

Spine Treatment for Neck (Cervical Spine) Conditions in New Jersey

The spine runs from the base of the skull to the pelvis, and doctors separate it into several sections. The cervical spine refers to the seven bones (vertebrae) at the top, comprising the neck. Whether due to injury or disease, the cervical spine can become damaged. When this occurs, it causes various symptoms that make it difficult to perform daily tasks.

At NU-Spine: The Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Institute, Branko Skovrlj, MD, is a board-certified neurosurgeon and fellowship-trained spine surgeon. Dr. Skovrlj specializes in treating spine conditions, including neck pain and related conditions. Leveraging innovative diagnostic technology and spine treatment options, Dr. Skovrlj provides personalized care to patients throughout New Jersey, including locations in Paramus, Woodbridge, Toms River, Jersey City, and Holmdel, NJ.

What Are Cervical Spine Conditions?

The crucial role the cervical spine plays in daily movement often is not felt until a condition develops. In addition to vertebrae, the cervical spine features intervertebral discs, which provide shock absorption to prevent pain during movement.

When these bones, discs, or other structures supporting the cervical spine are damaged, it can become painful for a patient to move their head. This significantly limits the ability to conduct everyday tasks. The cervical spine is responsible for forward and backward bending of the head (flexion and extension), plus side-to-side head movements (rotation and lateral flexion).

Neck conditions also may impact other functions of the cervical spine, which include:

  • Protecting the spinal cord
  • Supporting blood flow to the brain
  • Bearing the head’s weight to ensure it stays upright

Neck pain has multiple causes. Sometimes, a sharp, sudden movement may strain the muscles in the neck and cause pain. In other patients, another condition can lead to pain, such as osteoporosis, which causes small spinal fractures. In most cases, a cervical spine condition will begin with minor neck pain that worsens over time.

Besides neck pain, symptoms that may suggest a patient has cervical spine damage include:

  • Breathing trouble
  • Radiating back pain
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Muscle spasms
  • Numbness in the arms and hands
  • Problems walking steadily

 Types of Neck Conditions

The following are common cervical spine conditions patients may develop:

  • Cervical degenerative disc disease: This is a common source of neck pain. It happens when the intervertebral discs become damaged or suffer wear and tear. Degeneration narrows the protective cushioning between vertebrae, causing several symptoms.
  • Cervical Degenerative Joint Disease: When the joints in the vertebrae of the cervical spine age, they may experience damage. When a person turns their head, bones rub against each other and cause pain.
  • Cervical Facet Syndrome: Facet joints provide flexibility for bending and twisting the neck. Cervical facet syndrome, or cervical facet osteoarthritis, damages these joints.
  • Cervical Kyphosis: Also called military neck, cervical kyphosis is an abnormal, C-shaped curve in the cervical spine caused by injury or other conditions.
  • Cervical Myelopathy: Cervical myelopathy refers to a compression injury affecting the spine. Compression may be caused by narrowing, an out-of-place bone or tissue, or deterioration due to age.
  • Cervical Spinal Cord Injury: From sports-related incidents to car accidents to physical confrontations and some medical conditions, cervical spinal cord injuries have many causes.
  • Cervical Stenosis: Cervical stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck. It compresses the spinal cord, leading to multiple symptoms, including severe neck pain.
  • Herniated Cervical Disc: Intervertebral discs feature an inner nucleus and outer layer called an annulus. Disc herniation occurs when a tear in the annulus allows a fragment of the nucleus to spill out, compressing spinal nerves or narrowing the spinal canal. The result often is intense neck pain.
  • Pinched Cervical Nerve: A cervical pinched nerve happens when damage to a nerve root in the cervical spine causes pain. This can cause radiating pain or tingling known as
  • Neck Injury: Neck injuries range from mild pain to soft tissue damage. If the patient experienced significant trauma, they might have internal damage or develop cervical spine conditions.
  • Slipped Cervical Disc: Like a herniated disc, a slipped disc happens when the inner gel of vertebrae spills out into the surrounding spine. With a slipped disc, this gel leaks in only one area. However, it can affect nerve roots and cause the same neck pain.
  • Cervical Radiculopathy

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery for Neck Pain


When symptoms of cervical spine conditions first appear, doctors may suggest remedies such as rest and heat packs. They also may prescribe painkillers or physical therapy to alleviate discomfort.

These conservative treatments work best for minor neck pain. However, if neck and upper back pain persists, patients require treatment from spine specialists. Left untreated, neck pain and other symptoms of these conditions can lead to severe impairment. This can inhibit a patient’s ability to handle routine tasks such as bathing or eating.

Patients can trust NU-Spine, which focuses solely on providing spine treatments tailored to their needs. Dr. Skovrlj performs minimally invasive neck surgery to treat various cervical spine conditions. Procedures include:

  • Cervical disc replacement: This spine surgery involves replacing a damaged disc with an artificial disc. It helps treat disc herniation and cervical degenerative disc disease.
  • Corpectomy: Spine surgeons may remove all or part of the vertebral body to alleviate compression on the cervical spinal canal.
  • Discectomy: This procedure removes a portion of or an entire intervertebral disc to treat a cervical herniated disc.
  • Endoscopic Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy and Discectomy: This minimally invasive surgery uses an endoscope to make an incision at the cervical spine. The surgeon widens the foramen, a hole in the vertebrae where nerves spread from the spinal cord, to alleviate narrowing. Then, the surgeon performs a discectomy.
  • Laminectomy: This decompression surgery involves removing the lamina, the portion of the vertebral bone that protects the spinal column. It helps remove pressure from the spinal cord.
  • Microdiscectomy: With microdiscectomy decompression, spine surgeons remove a portion of a damaged or herniated disc in the neck. It enables surgeons to be more exact than with a discectomy.
  • Minimally Invasive Laminectomy: This procedure provides an alternative to open laminectomy that enables smaller incisions, less post-operative pain, a faster recovery, and other benefits.
  • Revision Spine Surgery: If an initial procedure did not provide relief or was not done properly, spine surgeons may perform revision surgery.
  • Spinal Fusion: By joining together two or more vertebrae, spine surgeons form one solid bone. This eliminates space between joints and the resulting flexibility that may cause pain during movement.
  • TLIF: Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion involves discectomy to remove a damaged disc and fusion of two or more vertebrae. Hardware replaces the removed portions.
  • XLIF: During extreme lateral interbody fusion, the surgeon accesses the spine from the side of the body to treat a range of spine conditions, including neck pain.

How to Seek Spine & Neck Surgery Services in New Jersey

NU-Spine provides a variety of minimally invasive surgical treatments for many neck conditions, helping to solve a patient’s neck pain. Serving patients throughout New Jersey with locations in Paramus, Woodbridge, Toms River, Jersey City, and Holmdel, NJ, Dr. Skovrlj is one of just a few neurosurgeons in New Jersey specializing in complex spine procedures.

He and his team take a personalized approach to care, getting to know each patient. They take the time to thoroughly understand a patient’s symptoms and listen to their concerns. Begin your journey to wellness and transform your life with a touch of care! Experience the cutting-edge in minimally invasive spine treatments at NU-Spine. Don’t wait for relief; schedule your appointment with our spine experts today and take the first step towards a pain-free future.

Graphic showing location of cervical spine on patient

Cervical Neck

  • Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Cervical Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Cervical Facet Syndrome
  • Cervical Herniated Disc
  • Cervical Slipped Disc
  • Cervical Radiculopathy
  • Cervical Spinal Stenosis
  • Cervical Whiplash
  • Stinger
  • Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
  • Cervical Disc Replacement
  • Endoscopic Anterior Discectomy
  • Endoscopic Posterior Cervical
  • Foraminotomy
  • Endoscopic Posterior
  • Foraminotomy/Discectomy
  • Endoscopic Rhizotomy
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Spine Center Locations

1. Paramus
37 W Century Road Suite 105A
Paramus, NJ 07652

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3. Woodbridge
573 Amboy Ave.
Woodbridge Township,
NJ 07095

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5. Toms River
1901 Hooper Ave. #B
Toms River, NJ 08753

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7. Hainesport
300 Creek Crossing Blvd,
Suite 307 Hainesport, NJ 08036

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2. Jersey City
631 Grand Street, Suite 2-100
Jersey City, NJ 07304

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4. Holmdel/Bell Works
101 Crawfords Corner Rd.
Suite 1116-B
Holmdel, NJ 07733

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6. Freehold
1000 West Main Street
Suite 201
Freehold, NJ 07728

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