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Cervical Artificial Disc: Everything You Need to Know

cervical artificial disc can reduce pain in the neck and down your arm caused by cervical disc degeneration. The cervical artificial disc implant replaces a damaged disc in the C3 to C7 range of the neck spinal area. Additionally, the titanium coated endplate encourages bone growth and attaches to the vertebrae below and above the device. This minimally invasive spine surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure, which offers many advantages compared to fusion surgery.

A cervical artificial disc stabilizes the spine and replaces discs damaged by illness or injury. The flexible design does not require fusion, meaning you retain a greater range of motion than possible with spinal fusion surgery. After you heal from the procedure, you may experience decreased neck and arm pain and regain lost functionality.

During the procedure:

  1. General anesthesia is administered.
  2. At the front of the neck, the surgeon makes a small incision.
  3. Via this entry hole, the surgeon removes the degenerated disc and installs the cervical artificial disc.
  4. Thanks to the minimally invasive cut, the wound heals relatively quickly and there is less blood loss.

How the Cervical Artificial Disc Implant Works

There are a few different types of cervical artificial discs in use currently and may consist of 2 or 3 components in varying models. They involve metal endplates that are affixed to the upper and lower vertebral bones. The articulating mechanism that allows for motion to be preserved across several planes, is inserted between these endplates.

Are You a Good Candidate for a Cervical Artificial Disc?

You may be a good candidate for cervical artificial disc replacement under the following conditions:

  • You suffer from cervical myelopathy or radiculopathy or have a herniated disc or bone spurs.
  • Following conservative treatment measures, your symptoms remained the same or grew worse. Nonsurgical treatment may include pain relief medication, exercises, chiropractic care, or physical therapy.
  • You have one or two discs that require replacement.
  • You are 18 years old or older and have reached skeletal maturity.

At Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic, we carefully discuss your current health and past spinal procedures to ensure a cervical artificial disc is right for you.

Benefits and Outcomes

Ideally, you will gain the following benefits from your cervical artificial disc:

  • Cover endplates: The endplates of natural vertebrae contain cartilage to cushion and separate consecutive discs. So, the cervical artificial disc must be large enough to cover the endplates of the vertebrae above and below it. By distributing the load evenly, the artificial disc improves the function of your previously injured spine.
  • Relieve nerve compression: Cervical artificial discs are designed to prevent nerve compression. When built at a smaller height, the artificial disc can reduce or eliminate nerve compression caused by taller discs. If the cervical artificial disc is too tall, other structures in the spine — such as connective tissue and facet joints — may recede, limiting your range of motion.

Cervical artificial discs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials that meet the needs of individuals with different conditions.

What is the Recovery Time?

Speak with Dr. Lewis directly regarding what you can expect during your post-operative recovery. The cervical artificial disc replacement is an outpatient procedure, meaning you won’t have to stay overnight at a hospital. Compared to spinal fusion, you can expect to heal in days or weeks instead of months. Carefully follow instructions regarding the type of activity you can do immediately following surgery.

As well as being a top neurosurgeon, Dr. Lewis teaches and performs speaking engagements throughout the US, as well as internationally. He is renowned for innovative neurosurgery practices, including minimally invasive surgery and motion preservation in the replacement of damaged spinal discs. Dr. Lewis is board-certified and has 30+ years’ experience helping patients with cervical disc degeneration, herniated discs, and bone spurs using bleeding-edge medical tools and techniques.

Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic is a center of excellence for artificial disc and motion preservation. If you have any questions regarding cervical artificial disc surgery or any other services provided by our team, we would love to speak with you. You can ask for an appointment online or call us at (601) 366-1011. We’ll find a solution that works for you!