Cervical Decompression and Disc Replacement Surgery


What is a Disc Replacement Surgery?

In selected patients, disc replacement surgery may be indicated. This is a relatively new technology whereby a prosthetic motion device replaces the damaged disc. The potential advantages include preservation of motion at the disc level and protection of the neighbouring levels from accelerated wear and tear.

Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery is usually recommended for younger individuals suffering from intolerable neck pain and/or arm pain caused by a ruptured or herniated disc.

The last few years have been a breakthrough in new technology and replacement material for cervical discs. This is often a better option than spinal fusion. New disc material is made of high-grade plastic and metal that are effective in mimicking the natural motion of the neck.

Many functional cervical disc replacements have been tested and produced until now.

Artificial Cervical Disc

Prestige LP (low profile Cervical Disc) has a Clinical history of more than 15 years. An artificial prosthetic disc contains a soft inner core and is engulfed in an elastic mesh which promotes movement in all directions. The internal circuits are protected inside a mantle which prevents damage from surrounding tissue.

Cervical Decompression and Disc Replacement Surgery

Disc replacement is an ideal option when the patient experiences pain in the neck and one or two of the cervical discs are affected. Preserving the motion of the neck is of the highest priority. Cervical decompression and disc replacement surgery alleviate pressure in the cervical spine and stabilise the spine.

Dr Szabo uses a high-powered microscope to remove herniated discs and bone spurs responsible for increasing pressure on the spinal nerves. This has to be done because un-freed nerves cause pain and weakness in the area.

Disc replacement promotes movement in one or two levels of the neck. Dr Szabo creates a 2-inch incision in the front or side of the neck and moves blood vessels and vital structures aside to access the vertebrae and injured spinal disc. The damaged cervical disc is then removed, and a new synthetic disc is placed in the space.



Recovery Time

One level cervical disc replacement requires two to three nights of hospital stay.

Recovery and postoperative rehabilitation are the same as following cervical spinal fusion surgery. With cervical fusion surgery, the patient is required to wear a neck brace. However, with cervical decompression, a neck brace is only required when fusion is captured through x-ray imaging.



1When is disc replacement not a good option?
Disc replacement is not always a feasible option when the patient develops problems concerning the health and movement of the neck. For example, patients experiencing neck pain and arthritis will not benefit from the procedure because they will develop continuous neck pain from the constant motion of the neck.
2Why is disc replacement a better option than spinal fusion?
Spinal fusion contributes to wear and tear in adjacent regions of the spine. While fusion is a generally effective and safe surgical procedure, there is always a chance that it can compromise the biomechanics of the spine.
3What are the benefits of a disc prosthetic?
A disc prosthetic restores the spine's movement and ensures faster recovery after surgery. Disc prosthetics are state of the art technology that delivers promising results by restoring the spine's flexibility and natural motion.