Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement
For Neck & Arm Pain Relief
The vertebral bodies in the neck are separated by discs. When disc material herniates it can press on either the spinal cord or the nerves traveling to the arms. The patient may experience pain traveling down the arm in the distribution of the compressed nerve, or the patient may experience weakening or partial paralysis in the arms and legs below the level of the spinal cord compression by the disc. An operation can be performed to go through the front of the neck, remove the disc and replace the interspace with an artificial disc. This will allow motion preservation between the adjacent vertebral bodies.
Reasons to Have the Surgery
An anterior cervical artificial disc may be performed to help with arm pain and neck pain. It will help to keep motion preservation in the neck.
Description of Procedure
Before the operation begins, the anesthesiologist will put the patient to sleep. At this point the front of the neck is prepared for surgery. On either the right or left side of the neck, the neurosurgeon will make an incision and approach the front of the spine. After confirming the appropriate level, the neurosurgeon will remove the disc, bone spurs and ligament. The neurosurgeon will then place the artificial disc within the disc space.
Before closing the incision, positioning of the instrumentation is checked with intraoperative x-ray. The incision is closed with sutures and the skin is closed with glue.
Patients are typically discharged home the day after surgery. They should keep the wound dry and clean until after given clearance by the neurosurgeon to get it wet.
Risks of the surgery are quite low. Potential risks include bleeding, infection, injury to nerves in the neck, trouble swallowing and speech, spinal cord injury, paralysis and death.
For more information on the Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement or for a consultation at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute please call: