Cervical Disc Replacement

Cervical disc replacement is an amazing new technology performed to replace a damaged, herniated, or painful disc while maintaining motion in the spine. Instead of performing a traditional spinal fusion, an artificial disc is inserted to replace the old damaged disc. The new disc actually moves and is designed to not reduce any motion, a problem common in spinal fusion procedures. A cervical disc replacement surgery is performed in an outpatient setting with little to no blood loss. After the surgery there is no need for a neck brace and patients are even encouraged to move their neck immediately following the procedure.

Cervical Disc Replacement
Cervical Disc Replacement

Is a Cervical Disc Replacement the Right Treatment for me?

You may have heard about cervical disc replacement before and are wondering whether or not it is the right treatment for you. If you are not sure this is the right choice of treatment you should explore other options to make sure that the treatment you get is definitely the one you need.

As a part of OLSS’s commitment to our patients, we have put together a quick and easy to use tool to help determine whether cervical disc replacement is the right treatment for you.

To get started just click on the link below and take 5 minutes to accurately fill out the questions. Once submitted one of the professionals at OLSS will review your submission and get back in touch with you to provide you with the answers you need to get on the path to living pain-free.

Am I a Candidate for a Cervical Disc Replacement?

If you are certain that cervical disc replacement is the right treatment for you based on a referral from a doctor or recommendation from another surgeon, the highly skilled surgeons at OLSS are a great choice for getting this procedure done.

With some of the most skilled and highly qualified surgeons in the industry, OLSS has one of the highest success rates. This in part is due to making sure patients we accept as candidates go through a candidacy checking process.

To get started just click the link below and take 5 minutes to answer the questions as accurately as possible. Once we receive your answers one of our professional staff will review them and get back in touch with you to provide feedback and let you know if you are a candidate and what the next steps are to getting you back to living pain-free.

About the Technology

The artificial disc replacement offers painless motion to the injured cervical disc segment. In the past, the only reliable curative solution was a fusion. The problem is that the fusion removed any motion between repaired degenerative disc segments, only to stress the adjacent segments with stiffness and torque, causing them to wear down faster. The artificial disc was invented to stop the premature aging caused by fusion.

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Artificial Disc Implant

Cervical Disc Replacement: Pros and Cons

Degenerating cervical discs and pinched nerves in the upper spine can cause chronic pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness that impacts the entire upper body, sometimes extending down the arm. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you’ve likely been doing everything possible to avoid surgery. This likely includes taking massive amounts of non-prescription and prescription pain relievers, getting cortisone shots, and other pain management techniques. However, nonsurgical treatments only work in some situations and typically only serve as a bandaid that provides some symptomatic relief.

Undergoing a cervical disc replacement surgery can relieve or eliminate issues related to neck pain and loss of mobility. This is especially true when symptoms emerge from the degeneration of cervical discs. You don’t have to live with chronic neck pain if you are suffering from cervical disc degeneration, have a herniated disc, or have another issue with your cervical spine. Many patients consider cervical disc replacement surgery. Below we cover the pros and cons of this procedure so you can better understand your options.

Pros of Cervical Disc Replacement

Although there are some cons related to cervical disc replacement, the advantages of this procedure outnumber the disadvantages, especially when compared to the other popular surgical option for neck pain—spinal fusion. Here are the significant benefits of undergoing cervical disc replacement, medically referred to as a cervical disc arthroplasty.

Preserves Motion in the Neck

The most significant advantage or pro of cervical disc replacement is that you can bend, twist, turn, and flex your neck normally. The other standard option for neck issues is spinal fusion, which involves fusing two vertebrae to stabilize your neck. Fusion limits your neck’s movement, while disc replacement involves an artificial disc that mimics your neck’s natural ability to bend and rotate. Patient satisfaction is high with cervical disc replacement because most patients end up with a full range of motion in their neck and don’t have to deal with chronic pain.

Quick Recovery

Cervical disc replacement is typically an outpatient procedure that heals relatively quickly. Not only do you avoid spending time in the hospital, you probably do not need to wear a brace. Our experience with patients reveals that most heal in about half the time it would take them to heal if they underwent spinal fusion. This means you can return to work and your daily routine within a couple of months. Most importantly, you can return to doing the things you love, whether hobbies or exercise.

Reduces Need for Additional Surgeries

Those who undergo cervical disc replacement do not need repeat surgeries on the same disc, which is not always the case for spinal fusion. The bones fused in the process cannot move, which alters how the neck moves. This can stress areas of the cervical spine above and below the fused area. This stress makes it more likely for patients to develop problems in the future that require one or more additional surgeries. The same is true when spinal fusion fails. Ultimately, the fact that cervical disc replacement preserves motion in the neck reduces the need for other surgeries.

Reduced Risk of Pseudoarthrosis

Pseudarthrosis is a condition that occurs when a spinal fusion procedure doesn’t work as intended. During the spinal fusion, the vertebrae in the neck are fused with the goal that they will heal in a particular formation that provides stability and relief for the patient. When the bones do not heal as expected, patients can suffer pain in their neck and back. Typically, the development of pseudoarthrosis requires another attempt at spinal fusion. Cervical disc replacement includes replacing a damaged disc with an artificial disc without any fusion, significantly reducing the chances of developing pseudoarthrosis.

Cons of Cervical Disc Replacement

Although cervical disc replacement is quickly becoming the gold standard for treating various cervical conditions and injuries, it has drawbacks. We take a closer look at them below.

Not Suitable for All People with Neck Pain

Cervical disc replacement is not always the answer for those who suffer from neck pain. Disc replacement is not always the go-to recommendation for those over 50. This is large because older adults often develop arthritis, even in their necks, and they do not typically reap the full benefits of the procedure. Additionally, those who are morbidly obese or have had previous spinal surgery are typically not candidates for cervical disc replacement. Cervical disc replacement is not a solution for those with certain conditions like fractured vertebrae, scoliosis, spondylolysis, osteoporosis, and pseudarthrosis. Finally, anyone with a history of allergic reactions to materials that make medical implants cannot typically undergo cervical disc replacement.

Possibility of Another Replacement in the Future

Artificial discs last for decades, so it will take some time before you need to worry about having your artificial disc replaced. However, if you undergo cervical disc replacement when you are young, there is a good chance you will need another replacement. You should also know that the opportunity for additional surgery is much lower with cervical disc replacement than with spinal fusion.

Life After Cervical Disc Replacement

The idea of having surgery on your neck can be scary. However, corrective surgery is often the only way to reduce discomfort and pain, so someone can start living normally again. Fortunately, cervical disc replacement offers advantages over fusing discs to stabilize the neck. Patients recover much faster and have a more excellent range of motion in their necks after recovery.

These advantages stem from the fact that during a cervical disc replacement, the space between the vertebrae does not need to fully heal as they do during a cervical fusion procedure. Even with the advantages of a cervical disc replacement, you still have to take care as you heal. Below we offer more information about life after a cervical disc replacement in each area of someone’s life, followed by answers to frequently asked questions.

Returning to Work

The time it takes to return to return to work entirely depends on someone’s job. However, performing needed tasks for any job requires a range of motion in your neck. Office workers who sit in front of a computer all day need mobility in their necks to the same extent that truck drivers, teachers, nurses, and stay-at-home parents need to be able to move their necks.

You will need a couple of weeks to heal post-surgery, but beyond that, a discussion with your spine surgeon and listening to your body will let you know when you’re ready. The vast majority of people undergoing cervical disc replacement surgery can return to their jobs and perform their duties better than before surgery. At the very least, they can perform them without pain.

Engaging in Exercise

If going to the gym or exercising at home was once a regular part of your life, but you had to give it up because of neck pain, you can again engage in exercise after a cervical disc replacement surgery. Most patients can stretch, lift weights, engage in other strength training, do yoga, and take other exercise classes without suffering neck pain.

Ultimately, patients can bend, stretch, and flex their necks in ways they haven’t been able to for months or years because they have increased mobility without pain after surgery. This again highlights the difference between a spinal fusion surgery that fuses vertebrae and a cervical disc replacement surgery that replaces a damaged disc with an artificial one. The replacement leads to increased flexibility and a better range of motion.

Contact the Experienced Florida Back and Neck Specialists at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery Today

Neck pain is debilitating and keeps you from doing the things you need and want to do. You don’t have to cope with chronic lifetime pain. A cervical disc replacement can help you regain lost mobility in your neck and significantly reduce or eliminate your pain. Let the experienced Florida back and neck specialists at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery help.

Our team works with multiple insurance carriers, and our treatments have at least a 95 percent success rate. Our success is related to our leadership. Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery is owned by Dr. Scott Katzman, a leading expert in orthopedic treatments who has practiced for almost two decades. Contact us today online or call (855)853-6542 to learn more about cervical disc replacement surgery.