Cervical Disc Replacement

I've been told that I need a fusion.  Can I get a cervical disc replacement instead, as an alternative to fusion?

This is one of the most common questions that I hear during consultations, and the most common answer that I give my patients is YES!  You will need to be personally evaluated by me, and I will need to personally review your MRI and X-rays in order to give you my best answer for your specific situation.

What is cervical disc replacement?

A cervical disc replacement removes the damaged spinal disc and replaces it with an artificial disc implant.

 

How does a cervical disc replacement work, and is it better than a spinal fusion?

This outpatient procedure utilizes a custom-fit artificial disc, and does not involve any cages, screws or plates.  The artificial disc allows you to immediately bend and twist your neck, without the stiffness that is commonly associated with a fusion.  The artificial disc is also showing a lower rate of needing MORE surgery in the future.

 

What does a cervical disc replacement treat?

A cervical disc replacement can be used to treat pinched nerves (radiculopathy) or a pinched spinal cord (myelopathy) in the neck.  Damaged discs in your neck commonly result in neck pain, neck stiffness, headache, radiating pain, numbness, tingling or weakness into the shoulders, arms, and hands.  If your spinal cord is pinched, then balance and bladder issues can become a problem also.  All of these symptoms are successfully treated by removal and replacement of the damaged cervical disc.
 

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