Herniated Cervical Disc Replacement
various factors which need to be considered before herniated
cervical disc replacement is decided on as a herniated disc treatment option as opposed to
fusion surgery or conventional decompression. The pro’s and con’s of cervical disc replacement can only be
understood with in-depth, long term and numerous studies, this mean previous research and cases need to be
analyzed before being pursued. Currently, a large portion of the data on cervical disc replacement is based on
In general, the circumstances that
indicate that there may be a need for cervical disc replacement are similar to the indications for fusion
surgery or discectomy. The cervical disc of the patient must be symptomatic, which may be resulting to pain,
numbness or weakness in the arm with some amount of neck pain. Such symptoms may be caused by osteophytes that
are causing compression on the spinal or the surrounding nerves and/ or a herniated disc. The methods of
treatment are quite different from other forms such as a herniated lumbar disc.
In most examples the patient in
question must meet certain requirements before cervical disc replacement will be considered as a viable option.
For example, the patient must have not undergone prior surgery on the neck and he or she must go through four up
to six weeks of non-operative trial treatments, typically including different forms of physical therapy and
medications. Overall, the patient must be considered as a good candidate for surgery.
Below is the Cervical disc
The standard procedure in a cervical
disc replacement surgery involves an anterior approach, which is the same approach used for a fusion surgery or
discectomy. The surgeon will completely remove the disc that is affected including any bone spurs or impinging
fragments of the disc. Then, then surgeon raises the disc space to its normal height to aid in the decompression
on the nerves. This step is critical because worn out discs usually shrink, and may result to pinched nerves in
one’s neck. Lastly, the surgeon implants the artificial disc into the disc space with the use of x-ray or
Like all other surgeries, cervical
disc replacement has its potential risks including blood loss, infection, and paralysis or nerve injury. While
these risks are very serious, they occur very rarely. Additionally, the artificial disc will naturally wear out
over time and small particles of it may cause some reaction with the body. However, laboratory studies have
found that there over a period of ten years, there is only minimal wearing out of the disc and that the body
tolerates the material well.
Cervical disc replacement has
benefits over a fusion surgery, one of which is the elimination of the risks involved with using a bone graft
from the patient’s hip or the risk of infection when the procedure uses “cadaveric” bone graft. Obviously, the
patient does not have to go through the healing process of a bone graft with a cervical disc replacement. This
procedure allows a more normal motion for the neck and the patient is able to perform more types of activities
for longer after the surgery.
Cervical disc replacement should
only be considered as a viable treatment option for a herniated cervical disc when all other methods of
treatment have been exhausted. Patients will need to meet several requirements, and this will all need to be
considered by the recommending physician or doctor who is treating your herniated disc.