Spine cervical disc replacement

What is cervical disc replacement?

Cervical disc replacement is also called artificial disc replacement or total disc arthroplasty. In this procedure, a damaged cervical disc that causes neck pain is removed and replaced with a polymer or metal prosthetic.

Generally, this neck pain is the result of cervical spine damage. The disc may be injured or damaged due to osteophytes, cervical disc herniation, or abnormal discs that are located between the neck bones. 

In severe cases, numbness and pain can also occur in arms due to pressure on the spinal cord or the cervical nerve roots.

This surgery generally involves the removal of the damaged spinal disc followed by the artificial disc implant replacement. This process is known as a discectomy. 

Depending on the disc location, the surgeon can make an incision and remove the disc. If the disc is located in the front, then the process is called anterior discectomy. While if the disc is at the back of the neck, it is called posterior discectomy.

Microdiscectomy is a similar surgery in which the damaged disc is removed by making a small incision with the help of a microscope or other magnifying device.

Often this process is performed under general anesthesia. Patients have two options for this surgery,

What is Cervical Fusion?

Cervical and Lumbar spinal fusion has been used for decades. 

There are various other techniques or processes to fuse the spine. 

Besides, there are multiple approaches the surgeon can use to reach the spine. If it is approached from the front it is called an anterior approach. 

Lumbar fusion requires an incision in the lower abdomen while cervical fusion requires an incision in the front of the neck.

In cervical fusion, the damaged disc is removed and replaced with the bone graft in between the vertebrae space. 

Generally, the bone graft is taken from the patient's own hip area or a cadaver.  This bone graft will fuse the vertebrae below and above. To hold the bone in place, a metal plate may be inserted. 

Cervical fusion with discectomy may often help reduce the pain of spinal disc condition. Patients must be cautious as there

How Artificial cervical disc replacement is done?

Just before starting this surgery, an IV(Intravenous line) is administered to provide the patient with fluids and medications. It's done under general anesthesia. The actual process might last for a few hours. 

During artificial cervical disc replacement, monitors are kept to check your blood pressure, heart, and oxygen level.

The area where the incision is being made is cleaned with a special solution to kill any germs or bacteria on the skin.

 An incision made is one or two inches. It is made on the front or side of the patient’s neck.

Then, the surgeon identifies the vertebrae bones and cervical disc. The damaged disc is removed and replaced with the artificial disc. 

In the final stage, the incision is closed with the help of stitches. The dressing is then applied over the incision. To restrict the motion, a soft or rigid neck collar may be placed.

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