Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement
An artificial cervical disc replacement is a minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) that is used to remove a diseased or damaged cervical disc and replace it with an artificial one. The procedure is very popular because patients experience significant symptom relief without a decrease in range of motion. For many patients, an artificial disc replacement is the perfect alternative to a fusion procedure. An artificial disc replacement is usually only performed as a single level procedure.
An Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement at Hope Orthopedics
The spine specialists at Hope Orthopedics are able to provide patients with maximum symptom relief and long lasting results. A cervical disc replacement is performed using the following step-by-step approach:
- Anesthesia. A board-certified anesthesiologist administers general anesthesia to put the patient to sleep.
- Incision. A 1-2-inch incision is made on the front the neck.
- Disc removal. Muscles and soft tissues are gently moved and retracted. The majority of the intervertebral disc is removed. Portions of the outer wall are left in tact.
- Implant insertion. An artificial disc is inserted into the intervertebral space. The outer wall that was left in tact holds the implant in the perfect anatomical position. Vertebral height is restored and pinched nerves are decompressed.
The incision is closed using sutures. Sterile dressings and an adhesive bandage are used to cover the incision. This promotes healing and prevents infection. A neck brace is put on the patient so their neck remains in an anatomical position while healing takes place.
An artificial cervical disc replacement is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Patients may return home after members of the postoperative recovery team clear them to do so. A family member or friend is responsible for driving patients home and staying with them for the first couple days. Patients usually return to work and normal day-to-day activities two to six weeks after their procedure. Patients see their orthopedic spine specialist to track their progress throughout the recovery. Complete recovery time varies.
Neck and upper extremity pain that was associated with a diseased or damaged disc goes away after the procedure. Patients range of motion returns because the artificial disc acts as a healthy and functional intervertebral disc. Patients return to work and activities they love with very little (if any) limitations. Patients who are experiencing neck and/or upper extremity pain and would like to find out if an artificial cervical disc replacement is a procedure that can help them are encouraged to schedule an appointment with one of the specialists at Hope Orthopedics.