Cervical disc replacement is sometimes recommended to individuals who are suffering from pain in their neck or related parts of their body. This process requires a hospital stay and you’ll need to spend some time recovering at home after you’ve been released from hospital. This article will explain how artificial disc replacement works.
What is a cervical disc?
The human spine is divided into several sections and the portion of the spine around the neck is referred to as the cervical spine. Cervical discs are fluid-filled, shock-absorbent structures that separate adjacent vertebrae.
There are six of these soft pads in the neck. All of them are designed to absorb a tremendous amount of shock and pressure over time. By doing so, they prevent damage to the bones in the spine, the skull and other parts of the body.
While the body is designed with several mechanisms for automatic disc repair and maintenance, human beings subject themselves to a great deal of stress throughout their lifetime. Over time, some persons may find that one of their cervical discs has been subjected to an excessive amount of wear and tear. In this case, it may not be able to do its job effectively.
When might cervical disc replacement become necessary?
Your doctor might recommend cervical disc replacement if you’ve tried other treatment options for pain but they haven’t produced the results that you need. Some patients may be able to manage pain or alleviate pain in the neck through physiotherapy. Others may use medication which can provide a significant amount of relief from pain.
What’s involved in cervical disc replacement?
In cervical disc replacement, your surgeon will remove the damaged disc and an artificial disc will be placed between the vertebrae. There are several types of artificial discs which are available. All of them will help to absorb shock just as your natural disc would. You’ll be placed under anesthesia during the procedure.
General anesthesia is used, so you’ll be put to sleep throughout the entire process. You won’t feel any discomfort or pain during the procedure. A small incision of about one or two inches will be made in the front of your neck.
Artificial disc replacement is an effective method of treating pain in the neck but it’s not recommended to everyone. For example, if you’ve previously done surgery on your neck, your risk of complications will be higher than someone who has never done any type of neck surgery.