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Cervical Total Disc Replacement – The Benefits and What to Expect

Stop Living with Cervical Neck Pain

As disruptive and debilitating as neck pain or radiating pain can be, there are many treatment options available. While most symptoms such as pain, numbness or weakness generally respond to non-surgical treatment methods, there are some cases in which disc surgery may be recommended. Cervical total disc replacement is a surgical process that involves removing your affected disc and replacing it with an artificial prosthetic, usually made of metal or polymer. This cutting-edge procedure offers the advantages of allowing more movement and reducing the stress on the surrounding vertebrae when compared to a traditional spinal fusion surgery.

Who is a Candidate?

As we age, it is normal for cervical discs to become weak and degenerate over time. For a lucky majority, symptoms will be mild or non-existent but for others, some form of medical intervention is often necessary. In order to be considered a good candidate for a cervical total disc replacement, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Evidence of disc degeneration in one or two cervical spine discs that result in arm pain due to herniation or nerve root compression.
  • Affected disc does not respond to conservative treatment such as pain medication, a neck brace or physical therapy.
  • You are in otherwise good health and not displaying any signs of infection or arthritis.
  • You do not have any known allergies to metals.

This procedure is also not recommended for individuals who have already undergone a prior spinal fusion or other spinal procedure in the same or cervical adjacent levels. If this is the case, your neurosurgeon can help you find the next best solution for your condition. Fortunately, rest and therapy can be extremely helpful in alleviating symptoms without having to resort to surgery.

When is it Needed?

Cervical disc surgery is often needed to treat the following conditions:

  • Spinal Cord Compression: This indication causes a condition known as myelopathy. This condition results when the compression of the spinal cord is so severe that it results in damage to the inside of your cord. Some of the most common symptoms of this condition is a loss of hand coordination and balance, though generally, most signs will be subtle and mild.
  • Spinal Nerve Root Compression: Unlike spinal cord compression, spinal nerve root compression results in symptoms of weakness or numbness. Fortunately, these symptoms can improve over time with conservative care, but it can also be successfully treated with surgery.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease: This type of neck pain usually responds well to conservative care methods but if your symptoms do not improve, surgery is considered. However, surgery for this condition can sometimes result in increased pain, so it is best to consult with your spine surgeon to explore some other options and see which one is right for you.

What to Expect?

As always, you should ask your healthcare provider how to properly prepare for any type of surgery. To help you get ready for the procedure, here is a brief look into what you can expect from a cervical total disc replacement surgery:

  • An IV will deliver fluids and medication that will put you to sleep.
  • You are hooked up to a monitor to ensure your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels are stable.
  • The area where the incision will be made is cleaned and sterilized.
  • A small, one to two-inch incision is made on the side or front of your neck.
  • The delicate structures of your neck are carefully moved out of the way until the surgeon has a clear view of your bones and cervical disc.
  • The affected disc is removed.
  • The artificial disc is implanted in its place.
  • The incision is closed with stitches and a dressing is applied over top.

Effective Solutions from the Experts at Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic

Cervical total disc replacement has gained popularity in recent years, thanks to the many benefits it provides. Performed by a trained and experienced spine surgeon, it is a safe and effective procedure for easing severe symptoms of cervical neck pain. Make an appointment with Dr. Lewis at Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic to know your options and learn more. With over 30 years of experience as a teacher and practitioner in the field of neuroscience, Dr. Lewis can analyze your case and determine the treatment option that will work best for you. He has built an enduring career by helping individuals like you, restore their quality of life through the use of specialized tools and techniques which produce results that last for many years.

If you are seeking relief from cervical pain, we are here to help. Read our testimonials to discover how others have benefitted from our services, including cervical total disc replacement. Contact us today at (601) 366-1011 to make an appointment for a consultation. You can also request an appointment online. We’ll find a solution that works for you.