Non-spinal illnesses such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and rotator cuff tears can cause neck and arm pain. As a result, some individuals experience problems with the nerves in their neck and spinal column, known as the cervical spine. Previously, to relieve the problem, a surgery was performed in which the cervical disc was removed, and the vertebrae in the neck were fused by inserting grafts from the iliac crest or hips. However, the surgery is now being replaced by cervical total disc replacement, which is the preferred surgical approach over fusion surgery. The modern spinal disc replacement devices are made of high-quality plastic and metals to help keep the neck’s natural motion.
Furthermore, hundreds of patients with more than seven years of clinical follow-up have been assessed in extensive investigations of disc replacements. So, if you want to understand more about the surgery and its efficacy, you can continue reading.
Who Needs Artificial Disc Replacement in the Cervical Spine?
This operation or therapy is not appropriate for all patients suffering from radiculopathy or neck pain. Depending on the anatomy of your neck, symptoms, and diagnosis, your healthcare practitioner or surgeon will determine whether you require cervical artificial disc replacement. This surgery is often advised for (patients with) cervical kyphosis, severe facet arthritis, primary bone diseases such as infection, and spinal cord damage.
What Steps Are Involved in Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery?
The cervical disc replacement surgery consists of multiple procedures, including incision, disc removal, and shape. You may learn more about those stages by reading the following:
Incision: Your surgeon will create an incision in the neck by approaching it from the front. It is to gain access to the spine and see the injured disc; the blood vessels and tissues are moved aside.
Disc removal: Your surgeon will altogether remove the problematic or injured disc from the vertebrae. The bone spurs and impinging disc pieces are also removed.
Shaping: The disc’s shape is diverted so that the normal disc height relieves stress on the nerve roots. All diseased or injured disc tissues will be removed from the low and upper vertebral surfaces, which will then be sculpted for implantation.
Implant: Using X-rays or fluoroscopy, your surgeon will ensure that space is provided between the two vertebrae to implant the device. The device will then be secured with specific screws by your surgeon. Cervical disc implantation preserves spine motions such as rotation, flexion, side bending, and extension, and your cervical spine will also be appropriately positioned.
Closure: Your surgeon will use medical glue or a few stitches to close the wound. The bandage is applied after the wound has been cleansed.
Is Cervical Total Disc Replacement Right For You?
Similarly, as with any clinical or surgical procedure, the decision comes from benefits vs. risks. It is better to ask these questions to your doctor. Is it possible that you will get neck pain? Do you think you’ll be able to regain neck mobility? How likely is it that you may come upon a minor or major complication? Finally, is the benefit worth the risk?
It always comes down to the patient and the family whether they want the surgery or not. But, if your doctor is optimistic about the surgery and the pain is not lessening with the current medication, you need to go for it.