When to Consider Surgery for Neck & Arm Pain?

If you’ve been experiencing unrelieved arm pain for six weeks or ANY numbness or weakness, it’s time to consult with Dr. Johans.

Deciding when to consider surgery for shoulder and arm pain is a huge step for individuals suffering from persistent discomfort and impairment in their daily activities. Dr. Tim Johans, a dedicated neurosurgeon in Boise, emphasizes the importance of understanding when surgical intervention becomes a viable option and the different surgical procedures available to relieve neck and arm pain. This blog explores the scenarios that may require surgery, the surgical options provided by Dr. Johans, and what patients can expect during the recovery process.

Dr. Johans is a Diplomat and Fellow of the American Board of Neurological Surgeons, board certified in Pain Management and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Board of Neurological Surgeons. He began his neurosurgical career in 1988 and has been practicing in Boise since 1993. With these credentials, you can trust that Dr. Johans has the specialized knowledge and experience to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.

He is a dedicated family man who is heavily involved in his community, is involved in several hospital boards and committees and takes pride in being a faith-driven person. Dr. Johans has had a 3 level neck fusion and can discuss options from his vast personal experience.

We also work closely with other non-surgeons if necessary so that our patients can access all available resources when making decisions regarding their treatment plans. Additionally, our team is always prompt in responding to inquiries and addressing patients' concerns throughout their recovery process. Reviews on Google and Healthgrades show that many individuals who have sought treatment from Dr. Johans have found success in his treatments while feeling comfortable and supported throughout their experiences at our office.

When Should I Start Considering Surgery to Relieve Neck and Arm Pain?

Surgery becomes an option worth considering when conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, medication, or injections, fail to provide relief for shoulder and arm pain. Symptoms that absolutely warrant surgical evaluation include persistent pain, numbness, weakness in the arms or hands, or loss of function, all of which could indicate nerve or spinal cord involvement.

An evaluation by Dr. Johans, which often includes diagnostic imaging, is essential to determine if surgery is necessary. He stresses the importance of not delaying surgical consultation, especially if experiencing numbness and weakness, as timely intervention can lead to more favorable results.

When Should You See a Doctor For Neck & Arm Pain?

Woman experiencing neck and arm pain

What Are the Surgical Options for Neck and Arm Pain?

While traditional surgical procedures like spinal fusion have been standard treatments for relieving pressure on the nerve and spinal cord, and although he has performed thousands of cervical fusions, Dr. Johans often explores more modern alternative options that preserve neck mobility and relieve the pressure on a nerve or spinal cord. This is because fusions cause a loss in range of motion in the neck and have an increased rate of complications above and below the operational level.

While Dr. Johans has done thousands of fusion surgeries, he has seen the beneficial results come more from cervical disc replacement. Compared to fusions, disc replacement maintains the full range of motion and significantly limits the need for another surgery in the future.

Dr. Johans is most passionate about providing his patients the best care possible, whether that means referring them to a physician who can help them explore non-surgical treatments, or signaling when it’s finally time to get a disc replacement surgery.

elderly woman experiencing shoulder pain

How Long Should I Expect Recovery to Take?

The recovery timeline varies based on the surgical approach taken and the patient's overall health condition. Surgeries like cervical disc replacement result in shorter recovery periods, allowing for a faster return to work and daily activities, usually in one month. For more extensive procedures like fusion though, the full recovery process can span from 3-6 months.

Generally, patients undergoing cervical disc replacement can expect to return to light activities within a few days to weeks and can resume heavier physical work at around 4-6 weeks. Patients are usually back to their regular activities one month after arthroplasty and 3-4 months after fusion, showcasing the quicker recovery associated with disc replacement.

Dr. Johans provides expert guidance and surgical solutions tailored to each patient's unique situation, prioritizing treatments that offer the best outcomes while maintaining the patient's quality of life.

How Long is the Recovery Time From Cervical Disc Replacement?

Contact Dr. Johans for Disc Replacement in Boise

If cervical disc replacement is a procedure you're considering, Dr. Johans is here to guide you every step of the way. His commitment is to provide personalized care that aligns with your lifestyle and health objectives.

Reach out directly at (208) 327-5621 or start your journey to recovery by completing our patient questionnaire. Together, we’ll explore the best treatment options for you and your lifestyle.

Patient Questionnaire


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