Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery
Through traumatic injuries or everyday wear and tear, vertebral discs in the neck can cause severe pain when they become damaged or diseased. Bulging discs can put pressure on spinal nerve roots, creating pain that begins in the neck and radiates outward to the head, shoulders, and limbs. In many cases, cervical disc replacement surgery offers a viable way to address the issue while still preserving motion in the neck.
The Disc Replacement Procedure
Through a small incision in the front of the neck, the orthopedic surgeon removes the damaged disc material, relieving pressure on the nerve root and clearing the way for the replacement. The upper and lower vertebrae are then cleaned and their surfaces are prepared to accept the implant. In the past, these vertebrae were simply fused together with a metal plate that essentially locked the two bones together, to the detriment of the neck’s natural range of motion. Today, that doesn’t have to be the case.
Options For Natural Motion
Our Austin spine institute has several options for disc replacements that can be installed during orthopedic surgery. The Prestige design has a specially made hinge that allows the neck to move and flex, and attaches to each vertebrae with special screws. The PCM disc replacement, on the other hand, needs no screws. Its design features special metal endplates whose surfaces bond to the prepared bone. In the middle is a piece of durable plastic that allows movement by flexing and compressing.
To determine if disc replacement orthopedic surgery is right for you, make an appointment to talk to our spine expert Randall F. Dryer, M.D. He will evaluate your case and give you options for how best to move forward.