Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery
Cervical disc replacement is a surgical option with high success rates for indicated patients. The goal of this spine surgery is to replace a damaged cervical disc with an artificial disc in an effort to restore movement, relieve nerve compression, and reduce pain.
Who is a good candidate for cervical disk replacement?
Many individuals are good candidates for cervical artificial disc replacement. The main indication for this surgery is a herniated degenerative disc or the presence of cervical radiculopathy that is not relieved with more conservative treatments.
Radiculopathy is caused by compression of nerves in the spine. When pain or nerve symptoms interfere with one’s daily life or ability to work and non-surgical interventions such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or physical therapy are not effective, artificial cervical disk replacement may be suggested.
Common symptoms of cervical disc degeneration or herniation include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Intense pain that radiates down the arm
- A sensation of pins and needles in the arms
- Numbness or weakness in the shoulder, arms, and hands
Benefits of successful surgery
A successful cervical artificial disc replacement can improve quality of life considerably. The procedure is designed to reduce neck and nerve pain and other symptoms of a degenerative or herniated cervical disc. Compared to spinal fusion that locks bones together — this surgery improves range of motion and has a much shorter recovery period.
The risk of complications is low and artificial cervical disc surgery eliminates the need for a bone graft. Cervical disc replacement allows for more flexibility and normal neck movement, reducing the likelihood of developing problems with adjacent discs.
Cervical artificial disc replacement surgery: the procedure
The cervical spine surgery is performed under general anesthesia. A one-inch incision is made at the front of the neck, providing access to the damaged cervical disc. Once the affected disc and any bone spurs are removed, an artificial disc is inserted using x-ray imaging guidance. Current artificial cervical discs used in arthroplasty incorporate a variety of bio-compatible materials such as polyethylene, cobalt-chrome, and titanium.
The incision is closed with Dermabond skin glue to minimize any scars. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled two weeks after surgery.
Modern cervical artificial disc replacement technologies have shortened recovery times after surgery, allowing patients to resume normal activities within six weeks. The surgery generally requires a one day hospital stay, after which patients can return home with specific post-op instructions. Patients can resume light activities by the second week, taking care to avoid strenuous movements or heavy lifting.
Those with desk jobs are often back to work after 7-14 days, but recovery times can vary among individuals. A full recovery from the surgery is usually realized after 12 weeks.
Schedule your consultation with Dr. David Barnett
David Barnett, MD, is a leading Dallas neurosurgeon and spine specialist who offers the latest treatment options for those with disc damage in the cervical spine. If you would like to learn more about cervical artificial disc replacement with Dr. Barnett, please contact our office to schedule an appointment today.
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From start to finish, Dr. Barnett and his staff were always informative and professional. Dr. Barnett performed my neck surgery and lower back surgery all during a pandemic and everything worked out perfect. Highly recommend Dr. Barnett. Top notch.
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