Cervical Disc Arthroplasty

As people age, the discs between the bones making up the backbone begin to wear down. This degeneration can affect the cervical spinal discs or the bones in the neck region. A symptom of cervical disc degeneration is neck pain, which worsens when you’re upright and disappears when you’re lying down. Seek medical treatment if your neck pain worsens or doesn’t go away despite rest or self-care.

We’re fully committed to providing compassionate patient care at Nacogdoches Medical Partners. Our orthopedic surgeons and medical care team are highly skilled, experienced and trained in diagnosing and treating orthopedic and musculoskeletal conditions. You can expect quality and personalized medical care from us.

What Is Cervical Disc Degeneration?

The intervertebral discs are flat and round cushioning between vertebrae, which are stacks of bones that comprise the backbone. The discs act as shock absorbers, allowing you to rotate and flex your head during movement. While it’s natural for the discs to age or wears down as a person gets older, degeneration happens when this “aging” process happens prematurely or more rapidly.

Cervical degenerative disc disease is characterized by the drying out of the disc’s nucleus pulposus, the gel-like structure that helps absorb shock. This dehydration may reduce the height of the disc, resulting in pain and abnormal motion due to the compression between the vertebrae. Disc disease can further minimize movement in the cervical spine and pinch the nerves. A person with degenerating cervical disc may experience the following:

  • Neck pain.
  • Numbness or tingling that reaches the shoulders, arm, upper back or hand.
  • Clumsiness, weakness or trouble walking.
  • Coughing or laughing.
  • Worsening neck pain.

What Is Cervical Disc Arthroplasty?

Cervical disc arthroplasty is a procedure to replace the diseased cervical disc with an artificial disc. This artificial disc replacement procedure aims to maintain motion in the affected area of the cervical spine. The artificial disc implant can be made of metal or metal and plastic. It can help restore the height between the cervical vertebrae and expand the passageway for the nerve roots to leave the spinal canal.

Before a cervical disc replacement, you will undergo several tests so doctors can evaluate your overall health. Tell your doctor your medical history and any medications you’re taking, as you may need to stop taking them before the procedure.

You will be placed under general anesthesia during the procedure, which means you will be asleep during the surgery. Your spinal surgeon will make an incision in front of the neck to access the damaged disc and the structures around it. The damaged disc will be removed, including bone spurs, displaced fragments or scar tissue that had developed before surgery. The replacement disc will be sized to fit your unique intervertebral disc space, guided into position and secured into place. The incision will be closed, and you’ll be taken to the recovery room. Your doctor may provide a neck collar to help keep your neck still.

Is Arthroplasty the Same As Disc Replacement?

Arthroplasty is a procedure to restore joint function. Depending on the affected joint, arthroplasty can be a disc replacement surgery to address a diseased spinal disc or joint replacement surgery to replace the affected joint with an artificial one. Common arthroplasties are done on the knee, hip and shoulder to treat a range of conditions affecting the joints, such as injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and more.

Is Cervical Disc Replacement a Major Surgery?

Cervical disc replacement is a major surgery requiring a hospital stay and a rehabilitation period. This procedure will only be recommended if noninvasive treatments do not improve a patient’s condition. Your healthcare provider will help you prepare for cervical disc replacement to be as healthy as possible for the operation. Preparations may include physical therapy, exercise or a diet program.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Cervical Arthroplasty?

Your doctor will provide you with a post-surgery recovery plan to increase the chances of a successful outcome from your cervical arthroplasty. It is normal to feel pain the first few days after your procedure. Your provider will prescribe pain medications, certain activities and wound-cleaning instructions, so follow them to help you recover comfortably. Tell your doctor if you experience signs of infection, such as fever, pus drainage from your incision site or swelling. You should also report if you feel severe pain that doesn’t go away with pain relief medications.

Most people may be able to return to everyday activities within the week of having cervical arthroplasty. A full recovery may take six to 12 weeks. If a patient had severe nerve damage before surgery, nerve healing may take up to two years after surgery.

How Successful Is Cervical Disc Replacement?

From a study, patient satisfaction reached 88% seven years after cervical disc arthroplasty. During this period, the patients from the study reported improvement in their neck and arm pain to some extent. At Nacogdoches Medical Partners, we consider various factors to ensure that a patient’s cervical disc procedure is as successful as possible. We educate our patients about their treatment options, risks and other action plans to help manage complications in case they arise.

Devoted to Excellence in Patient Care

Don’t ignore persistent neck pain, as it may be a sign of a severe condition. Contact Nacogdoches Medical Partners today to get checked and assessed for possible treatment.

We’ve Got Your Back

You don’t have to bear the burden of pain alone. Our providers are here to listen to you and provide compassionate care. Whether you’re suffering from neck pain, an injury or any other orthopedic condition affecting your spine, Nacogdoches Medical Partners is here to help. We provide spine care services from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation. Early treatment may help relieve your symptoms and prevent your condition from worsening. Call 888-421-9679 or click the button below to schedule an appointment.