Who is a good candidate Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement?
This procedure is most often performed on patients with severe pain that radiates through the arms or legs as well. Many patients also experience numbness, tingling, and weakness as a result of nerve root compression or irritation. Patients with chronic neck pain often have severe damage to one or more intervertebral discs that cannot be sufficiently repaired to allow patients to restore their quality of life prior to the damage. Many of these patients can find pain relief and effective treatment by replacing the damaged disc with an artificial disc during a procedure called arthroplasty.
How can an Arthroplasty help me?
Arthroplasty helps to relieve a wide range of spinal problems by replacing the degenerated disc with an artificial one to act in the same way as the replaced disc. This procedure helps preserve natural movement and allow patients to restore strength and function to the affected area after a course of physical therapy.
The Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement Procedure
During the disc replacement procedure, the damaged disc is removed through an anterior (front) incision in the neck, similar to a discectomy with fusion procedure. But unlike traditional spinal fusion procedures, artificial disc arthroplasty allows patients to maintain movement and flexibility within the treated area after surgery.
What are Artificial Discs made of?
Artificial disc replacements are made of stainless steel and consist of a ball on top and trough on the bottom to replicate the structure and function of the discs.
After surgery, patients can return home after a one or two-day hospital stay and can return to work and other light activity after two to three weeks, with full recovery taking approximately 12 weeks.
Risks of Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement
This procedure is performed through the front of the neck and complications can include failure of the implant or spontaneous spine fusion.