Artificial Disc Replacement

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Artificial Disc Replacement (Cervical Disc Arthroplasty)

Cervical disc arthroplasty is similar to a joint replacement procedure.  When the old natural cervical disc material is removed, a new, artificial one is put in the intervertebral disc space. An artificial cervical disc is a prosthetic device that helps to maintain motion in that segment of spine.  Therefore, it allows for rotation, side bending, flexion, and extension.  An artificial disc replacement of the cervical spine is performed when normal mobility and function of the neck is compromised.  This often occurs due to pain and stiffness from a herniated or bulging disc

Artificial Disc Replacement Approach

This procedure is done through the anterior approach (from the front).  A small incision is made near the front of the neck.  The surgeon will then gently move the muscles, skin, and fat (soft tissues) to the side, in order to access the cervical vertebrae.  Next, the surgeon will remove the disc and any bone spurs from the spine to decompress the spinal cord and nerve roots.  This part of the procedure is referred to as a discectomy or decompression. The artificial cervical disc prosthesis is then inserted into that space using special instruments. After the prosthesis is secured and tested, the soft tissues are put back into place and the incision is closed with stitches.



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