Amy Speropoulos spent 3 Good Minutes speaking with Dr. Chad Campion from Campbell Clinic about cervical disc replacement and the relief it can offer some people. Watch the video above or read the information below:
What is a cervical disc replacement?
This is a surgical procedure to remove a damaged disc from the neck and replace it with an artificial disc. They’re usually made of metal, ceramic, and plastic. This is done to remove disc bulges that are pushing on the spinal cord or nerves of the neck that cause pain, weakness and/or numbness in the arms.
Why would you replace a disc?
This is done only for damaged discs that are pushing on nerves. This surgery has become increasingly popular to treat disc bulges in the neck because the alternative is often a surgery to remove the disc and fuse the bones together. There are situations in some people where a disc replacement is not possible and a fusion is still required. The benefit, if a disc replacement is able to be done, is that because the bones of the neck still move normally after the surgery, the likelihood of other discs wearing it is likely less. This hopefully reduces the chances of someone needing another neck surgery months or years later.
What is the recovery after a cervical disc replacement?
This is done as an outpatient procedure. Pain is usually not significant. Surgeons do not put patients in a neck brace after surgery, but do want them to take it easy for a few weeks and not do anything too strenuous or heavy lifting. Most patients are able to get back to full activity within 6-12 weeks.