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Neck Surgery

The period following neck surgery is extremely important to ensure that the success of your surgery is maximised and so that you can be confident about resuming the activities you enjoy as soon as possible.

The expert physiotherapists at Liverpool Physio are specialists at rehabilitating people of all ages following all different types of neck surgery. Whatever your goals for the future, we are here to help you reach them.

Aims of neck surgery

The aims of neck surgery vary from person to person dependent upon the exact cause of your problems however in general, neck surgery may aim to:
  • Improve joint range of movement
  • Reduce pain
  • Normalise sensation
  • Make repairs following trauma
  • Improve functionality

Passive stretch of the trapezius muscle in the neck by experienced therapistAbove: Passive stretch of the trapezius muscle in the neck by experienced therapist

Types of neck surgery

There are a number of types of surgery that can be performed to achieve these objectives.
Types of neck surgery include:
  • Cervical fracture fixation ? involves the insertion of wires or screws to stabilise a fracture and achieve correct alignment

  • Decompression ? used to take pressure off a nerve/spinal cord to correct or relieve impingement symptoms

  • Discectomy ? is the procedure performed to remove a degenerative or herniated disc in the neck.

  • Fusion ? required for spinal instability involving the permanent fixation of neck vertebrae, usually due to degeneration.

  • Laminectomy ? a surgical procedure performed to allow more space by removing lamina and spinous process to reduce spinal cord compression (Cervical Stenosis).
It is also common for 2 types of neck surgery to be performed together such as a decompression followed by fusion to increase stability.

How can physiotherapy help following neck surgery?

Physiotherapy is able to promote a swift and full recovery following neck surgery in the following ways:
  • Pain relief
  • Improved muscle strength and balance
  • Maintenance of and improved spinal range of movement
  • Scar tissue improvement
  • Prompt return to sports and activities
The support of an experienced physiotherapist is imperative following neck surgery to ensure that you are confident about what you can and can?t do functionally. It is a normal reaction to avoid movement after surgery due to pain or because you may be worried about damaging your neck but in fact, participation in a graduated rehabilitation programme will ensure that your neck remains mobile and supple thereby promoting healing and preventing later complications.

It is also usually the case that prior to surgery you may have been experiencing pain or stiffness for months or even years which means that physiotherapy following surgery is even more important to correct long term soft tissue alterations to ensure your surgery is as successful as possible.

The physiotherapists at Liverpool Physio are extremely motivated and aim to assist you in reaching your short and long term goals no matter how extensive.

What does physiotherapy treatment involve following neck surgery?

Physiotherapy treatment following neck surgery depends on a number of factors including the specific type of surgery completed, your physical fitness and your goals. Following a thorough assessment, your physiotherapist will select suitable treatments based on these factors and any other personal needs.

Possible physiotherapy treatments include:
  • Massage to increase blood supply to the neck region, increasing healing and reducing pain
  • Joint mobilisation to promote normal and unrestricted movement
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises to reduce any muscle tightness and increase muscle strength to hold the head, reducing fatigue
  • Acupuncture to reduce pain
  • Home exercise programmes to continue stretching and strengthening exercises out of physiotherapy time, speeding up rehabilitation
Certain surgeries may also have research based rehabilitation protocols in place which your surgeon may have recommended. The physiotherapists at Liverpool Physio are fully up to date with current recommendations so you can be safe in the knowledge that any treatment provided will adhere to your surgeon?s protocols ensuring a safe and progressive plan.


The period following neck surgery can be a worrying and uncomfortable time. Liverpool Physio understand how neck surgery can affect you both physically and emotionally and our physiotherapists are well prepared to reassure you whilst offering the most up to date and effective graduated rehabilitation programmes.

If you would like to arrange an appointment then please contact our friendly team at or call us on 0151 558 0077.

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Phone: 0151 558 0077
0151 558 0077
David Lloyd, 6 The Aerodrome Speke, Liverpool, Speke L24 8QD
David Lloyd, 6 The Aerodrome Speke, Liverpool, L24 8QD  [map]
33a Rodney Street, Liverpool, L1 9EH
33a Rodney Street, Liverpool, L1 9EH  [map]
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