Dr. Jho's C-2 Microdecompression for Occipital Neuralgia: A Novel Treatment for Occipital Neuralgia or Headache
Hae Dong Jho, M.D., Ph.D.
Home: Dr. Jho's Innovative Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery for Spine and Brain Disorders
Link: JHO Institute for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery
Facts About This Surgery
A person that suffers from neck and arm pain from a cervical herniated disc or bony spur is said to have cervical radiculopathy which means nerve pain. The nerves in the neck that come off of the spinal cord are not unlike electrical cables coming from a fuse box and that travel throughout the house. So it may be that a person that has sharp stabbing pains at the top of the neck and the base of the skull and that radiate into the head may be suffering from C-2 radiculopathy. Instead of radiating into the arm like with a C-6 radiculopathy, C-2 nerve compression causes pain to "shoot" into the head. This is often called "occipital neuralgia". So rather than performing destructive procedures such as cutting the nerve which leads to numbness, this new innovative procedure addresses the underlying pathophysiology and removes whatever may be pressing on the C-2 nerve root. Continuing with the fuse box analogy, rather than cutting the cable when there is an electrical problem somewhere in the house, C-2 microdecompression confronts the problem at the "fuse box". This procedure is indicated for patients with the aforementioned symptoms who also received temporary or partial relief from a C-2 marcaine block, which serves to help confirm diagnosis.
An intraoperative photograph shows a decompressed C2 nerve root and ganglion during C2 microdecompression (C: spinal cord, G: C2 ganglion, R: C2 nerve root).
Jho HD: Occipital neurectomy and decompression. In Fessler RG, Sekhar LN (eds), Atlas of Neurosurgical Techniques (in press)
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