Same-Day Neck Procedure Helps Saratoga Woman Get Lasting Relief

Gina S., 55, experienced debilitating neck pain with chronic arm weakness. Despite pursuing multiple conservative treatments, her pain remained present and continued to worsen. Daily tasks, such as carrying groceries or putting a purse on her shoulder, would cause numbness in her right arm. 

Already established with The Bone & Joint Center, Gina found fellowship-trained spine surgeon Dr. Alexander Riccio.

“Basically, what Gina was experiencing is called a cervical radiculopathy, which is just a fancy term for a pinched nerve in her neck,” said Dr. Riccio. “It was being pinched by some overgrown tissue and cartilage, which caused the nerve to be irritated and create debilitating pain down the arm.” 

Typically, patients with pinched nerves experience relief with conservative treatments, such as physical therapy. In Gina’s case, these treatments failed to provide adequate relief, so surgery was the best option.

“I performed an ACDF, anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, on Gina,” Dr. Riccio said. “This involved removing the problematic disc, which is the cartilage located between the bones, and restabilizing the spine with a spacer and bone graft to encourage bone growth.” 

Before, surgeons used to perform the ACDF in a hospital setting, where patients needed to stay there for a night or two. 

“With newer and advanced techniques, surgeons are now trained to perform the ACDF on an outpatient basis,” he said. “We proudly offer this surgery at our Center for Advanced Ambulatory Surgery in Malta, which is more convenient for our patients. They don’t have to stay in the hospital overnight, the surgery is pretty quick, and the complication rate is pretty low.” 

After Gina underwent her procedure in October of 2021, she went home the same day and began her recovery journey. Now a little over four months later, she no longer suffers from that immobilizing pain and weakness.

“It was all so amazing. Dr. Riccio was just so nice, friendly, personable, and professional,” Gina said. “He answered all my questions, and his team was incredibly helpful. The entire experience—from the surgery facility to the staff—was amazing. I would recommend them to everyone.”

If chronic back or neck pain prevents you from living the life you love, consult with fellowship-trained spine surgeon Dr. Riccio from The Bone & Joint Center by calling (518) 489-2666 or requesting an appointment online.

Mentioned In This Story