Neck (Cervical) Pain Cervical Disc Replacement

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Cervical Disc Replacement as a Neck Pain Treatment

When non-surgical remedies have failed, the use of cervical disc replacement as a neck pain treatment option can have the advantage of restoring stability to the spine with stability and providing the nerve root with more space as it exits the spine. Not only can cervical disc replacement provide instant relief but it can preserve spinal mobility.

Neck Pain Treatments – Understanding Cervical Disc Replacement

For some patients with chronic cervical spine issues, cervical disc replacement as a neck pain treatment may be a superior solution. The goal of this procedure is to preserve motion at the area where the damaged disc is located and it gives the nerve root adequate space as it passes out of the cervical spine. Cervical Disc Replacement also eliminates the need for fusion, which prevents motion and can require a more invasive approach.

Is Cervical Disc Replacement the Right Neck Pain Treatment Option for You?

When someone has a herniated disc in their cervical spine (the neck) they are most often treated with conservative methods first. This usually means that they will receive medications, physical therapy, chiropractic treatments and advice about the proper kinds of exercises and at-home care necessary to resolve the pain or other symptoms associated with the condition.

But when these methods fail to provide adequate relief, it usually means that the herniated disc has caused pressure to develop on one or more of the nerves exiting from between the two vertebrae involved or within the spinal column itself. This will frequently present as pain or discomfort in the neck, shoulder, arms or hands. It will also usually reveal itself through weakness or numbness in the arms or hands as well. If ignored or in the most severe cases, these conditions can cause permanent nerve damage.

Additionally, some degenerative spine diseases lead to the same pressures and can have negative impact on the discs as well. Thus, cervical disc replacement as a neck pain treatment may be necessary for those who have not responded to the non-surgical, conservative treatments designed to overcome or prevent these problems from worsening.

The way that a cervical disc replacement as a neck pain treatment works is actually quite simple. The offending disc (or discs, as skilled surgeons can perform the procedure on multiple levels of the cervical spine) is removed and then it is replaced with an artificial disc that functions like a normal, healthy spinal disc. In the past, donor material from the patient may have been used to perform a “fusion,” but currently artificial cervical discs are preferred.

An artificial disc replacement can allow the patient to enjoy normal neck function and movement and often eliminates any need for bone grafts (bone grafts have risks for prolonged discomfort or non-union when from a donor, in addition to being a fusion that prevents mobility). This procedure can also allow patients to return to normal activity much faster, and tend to eliminate or reduce any degeneration of nearby sections of the cervical spine.

Neck pain is often the sign of a bigger problem within the cervical spine, and when not addressed may reduce quality of life. The use of cervical disc replacement as a neck pain treatment is viewed as highly effective and relatively safe when patients choose expert surgeons who specialize in such procedures. Cervical disc replacement is a solution when non-surgical remedies have failed to yield results, and new developments in artificial discs are being made each year.

At a Glance: Cervical Disc Replacement as a Neck Pain Treatment

  • When conservative treatments for herniated discs or degenerative diseases of the cervical spine have failed, cervical disc replacement surgery may provide relief
  • Cervical disc replacement surgery removes the damaged disc(s) and replaces it with an artificial disc that stabilizes the cervical spine, provides mobility, and relieves pressure on the nerve root
  • This treatment offers many patients almost-immediate pain relief

Health Tips For Cervical Disc

  • Artificial disc replacement has no risks of vertebral non-union and ensures the neck remains mobile and flexible
  • Candidates cannot have had prior neck surgery in order to  qualify for cervical disc replacement as a neck pain treatment
  • Most patients will have had to attempt pain relief through the use of anti-inflammatory medication for four to six weeks before consideration for cervical disc replacement
  • Cervical disc replacement surgery is considered only when non-invasive therapies have  not helped alleviate symptoms
  • Speak with your doctor about proper recovery steps and activity after cervical disc replacement surgery

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