The neck is an incredible structure, and one of its most remarkable components is the cervical intervertebral disc. Durable yet flexible, able to stand up to high levels of compressive stress while still giving our heads an impressive range of motion, these discs are essential to healthy neck function. When one of these discs begins to degrade, a replacement is often necessary. Thankfully medical technology has produced a number of options for replacing the cervical disc.
Why Would I Need a Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement?
When your disc begins to degrade, it can cause problems with nerve compression and impair your ability to move your neck. Nerve compression can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms, including numbness, chronic pain, weakness in the neck and arm, and tingling. These are caused by the damaged disc putting pressure on the nerve and can be remedied by replacing that disc with a functioning replacement. A Cervical Artificial Disk Replacement can also help restore the range of motion that was impeded by a damaged disc.
Why Would My Provider Choose Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR) Over ACDF?
ACDF, or Anterior Cervical discectomy & Fusion, is often used in cases where disc replacement is necessary. For years this procedure has been the preferred option for treating symptoms caused by spinal cord compression. Both of these treatments can be used to produce similar results, but ADR has been becoming increasingly popular due to the unique benefits it provides. ADR provides a more natural range of motion, lowers the chance that the neighboring vertebrae will develop degenerative disc disease, and eliminates the need for a bone graft. Recovery time from ADR is also shorter than that of ACDF, making it the all-around preferred choice in modern treatments.
How Effective Is Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement?
While ADR is a more recent procedure than ACDF, studies have shown that it is an effective method of eliminating pain in the arm and neck resulting from spinal cord or nerve compression. Other research has shown that ADR success rates are even higher than that of ACDF, though long term data is lacking. What is known is that the pain relief resulting from ADR treatment lasts for years after it’s complete.
What Is Recovery From A Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement Like?
The recovery time from this procedure varies depending on the particulars of a patient’s case. In some cases, it’s possible for the patient to return to work only a week after having undergone the procedure. In others, it may be necessary for six or more weeks to pass before they can return to normal activities. Physical therapy is a regular part of the recovery period to ensure that flexibility and strength are recovered as well.
If you’re experiencing neck and arm pain or numbness that you suspect may be the result of damaged discs, call one of our providers today. Comprehensive Spine Care helps patients just like you recover mobility while relieving pain every day, and we’re eager to welcome you to our patient family. Call us today at 201-634-1811 today to schedule an appointment at any of our three New Jersey Offices!
Artificial Disc Replacement is a treatment option for select patients for treatment of disorders in the cervical spine (neck).
An Artificial Disc Replacement is typically performed to treat a disc herniation that is compressing the spinal cord and/or spinal nerve roots within the spinal canal in an individual with few or no arthritic bone spurs. An artificial disc replacement allows for movement at the surgical level similar to normal spinal motion.
The surgery involves a small incision made on the front of the neck, typically placed in a native skin crease, making it difficult to notice, once healed. Approaching the cervical spine from the front of the neck allows you to avoid the pain associated with disturbing the large neck muscles in the back of the cervical spine, meaning this procedure is associated with only mild pain.
Once the diseased or disrupted disc is visualized, the abnormal disc is removed in order to alleviate the pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots. Following the removal of the ruptured disc, the artificial disc is placed between the two vertebrae to restore the normal anatomy and motion of the spine.
Once the surgery is complete the patients will spend a few hours in the surgical recovery area for monitoring.
- Many patients go home the day of surgery; however, some may need to spend the night in the hospital for routine monitoring.
- A soft neck brace may be provided in certain instances to help support the neck.
All surgical patients at Comprehensive Spine Care are provided with medications prior to the date of surgery with instructions on their post-operative usage. Wound care, medication and diet instructions for after surgery are also provided upon discharge from the hospital and are also available here.