Cervical disc replacement is used to preserve motion in patients who have sustained damage to a disc. This procedure has significant benefits, allowing them to enjoy many of the activities that they were accustomed to when their discs were in excellent condition.
The success rate of this type of surgery is very high but doctors don’t’ recommend it to everyone. This article will explain what this kind of operation is all abut, so you’ll know how it can improve your health.
What is involved in disc replacement?
This sort of disc replacement surgery substitutes a degenerated disc with an artificial disc implant. Your natural disc is designed to absorb a significant compressive load but still allow the bones in your neck to move freely. It’s difficult to replace the discs in the neck with artificial ones that can perform at the same level but if a disc has been damaged and is causing pain, this is one of the treatment options that may be offered to you.
First, the herniated disc in your neck will be removed. You’ll be under general anesthesia during that time. An artificial disc is then inserted in its place.
As you can imagine, the resulting gap in your neck can’t be left empty, or the bones will rub against each other and cause a significant amount of pain. Cervical surgery relieves nerve compression, so the pain that you would feel radiating into your necks and arms will usually disappear.
As mentioned earlier, the discs also absorb shock and pressure. For example, when you jump, the force that hits your legs is absorbed by the discs, preventing damage to the vertebrae in your neck and other parts of your spine. After surgery, this shock absorption effect occurs in the way that it should, to prevent injuries.
Disc Replacement Outcomes
Follow up data shows that patients experience significant improvement in the amount of pain they have in their neck and arms. The reoperation rate is low, with the trend being the same across different types of designs for artificial discs.
Disc replacement surgery helps to slow down the rate of degeneration of the discs that are adjacent to the one that was replaced. The results are comparable to hip or knee replacement and the benefits are maintained in the long term. You can expect to still enjoy the benefits of disc replacement seven years after the initial surgery was done.