Cervical disc replacement

What Is Cervical Disc Replacement?

Your cervical spine contains seven vertebrae at the top of the neck separated by cushioning discs, which allow your neck to move freely. Thanks to natural wear and tear from aging, cervical discs can degenerate, creating disc herniations that press against nerves or the spinal cord.

Symptoms that may benefit from cervical disc replacement include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Clumsiness or balance problems
  • Pain radiating to shoulders or arms
  • Weakness in shoulders, arms, hands or legs
  • Numbness or tingling in arms

Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery

When conservative treatments do not resolve your pain, our specialists may recommend artificial cervical disc replacement surgery.

Why is cervical disc replacement surgery done?

Artificial cervical disc replacement is a newer process involving the removal of a diseased cervical disc and replacement with an artificial one, while eliminating any disc fragments or bone spurs. Cervical disc replacement is a motion-preservation procedure, not a motion-creation procedure. Patients should not expect the procedure to increase their range of motion, even with a new artificial disc in place. An arthritic joint that did not move before disc replacement probably won’t move any better afterwards. We may recommend cervical disc replacement after conservative treatments, physical therapy, medications, and occasionally spinal injection procedures fail to provide sufficient relief.

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