Cervical Disc Arthroplasty
Cervical Artificial Disc Surgery
Cervical artificial disc replacement surgery is a joint replacement procedure that involves inserting an artificial disc, such as the PRESTIGE® Cervical Disc, between the vertebrae to replace a natural spinal disc after it has been removed. This prosthetic device is designed to maintain motion in the treated vertebral segment.
What Is Cervical Artificial Disc Surgery?
Cervical artificial disc surgery is a type of joint replacement procedure, or arthroplasty, which involves inserting a cervical artificial disc into the intervertebral space after a natural cervical disc has been removed.
A cervical artificial disc is a prosthetic device designed to maintain motion in the treated vertebral segment. A cervical artificial disc essentially functions like a joint, allowing for flexion, extension, side bending and rotation. The PRESTIGE® Cervical Disc is the first artificial disc to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in the cervical spine.
Why Do I Need This Procedure?
The intervertebral discs of the cervical spine are very important for the normal mobility and function of your neck. When healthy, they act as “cushions” for the individual bones of the spine, or vertebrae. Each disc is made up of two parts:
- The nucleus pulposus – the soft, gel-like center of the disc.
- The annulus fibrosis – strong, fibrous outer ring that surrounds and supports thenucleus pulposus.
Over time, discs can become dried out, compressed or otherwise damaged, due to age, genetics and everyday wear-and-tear. When this happens, the nucleus pulposusmay push through the annulus fibrosis. Disc degeneration also may result in bone spurs, also called osteophytes. If disc or bone material pushes into or impinges on a nearby nerve root and/or the spinal cord, it may result in pain, numbness, weakness, muscle spasms and loss of coordination, both at the site of the damage and elsewhere in the body, since most the nerves for rest of the body (e.g., arms, chest, abdomen and legs) pass from the brain through the neck. Similar symptoms, however, may occur suddenly if the disc nucleus dislodges acutely and causes nerve root compression, a condition referred to as a herniated disc.
When non-surgical therapies fail to provide relief from your symptoms, your doctor may recommend spine surgery. The goal of cervical artificial disc surgery is to remove all or part of a damaged cervical disc (discectomy), relieve pressure on the nerves and/or spinal cord (decompression) and to restore spinal stability and alignment after the disc has been removed.
A spinal fusion with an anterior cervical plate currently is a very good surgical option for many patients, leaving most symptom-free and able to return to their normal activities within a short period of time. Using bone grafts and instrumentation, such as metal plates and screws, this procedure fuses, or creates a bond between, two or more adjacent cervical vertebrae, ideally stabilizing the segment and providing relief.
Cervical artificial disc replacement surgery, also referred to as spinal arthroplasty or just disc replacement, is another potential treatment option for patients with this condition.
Cervical artificial disc replacement surgery may be an appropriate treatment option for you if:
- You have been diagnosed with cervical radiculopathy, myelopathy or both with the presence of disc herniation and/or bone spurs.
- Your symptoms did not improve after conservative treatment measures, such as exercise, pain relievers, physical therapy and/or chiropractic care.
- You require treatment at only one cervical level.
- You are at least 18 years of age with skeletal maturity.
- Are not pregnant or nursing at the time of surgery.
To determine whether cervical artificial disc replacement surgery is the right treatment for you, your physician will perform a physical exam and other diagnostic testing, such as a spinal X-ray; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scan, myelogram and/or a bone scan.
It is important that you discuss the potential risks, complications, and benefits of cervical artificial disc replacement surgery with your doctor prior to receiving treatment, and that you rely on your physician’s judgment. Only your doctor can determine whether you are a suitable candidate for this treatment.