When the space between your vertebrae narrows, part of your vertebrae or discs can compress your spinal cord or nerves causing pain, numbness, or weakness. When this occurs, a cervical disc replacement may be necessary. This procedure involves replacing a damaged cervical disc with an artificial disc.
Typically, disc degeneration is common as we age. Symptoms generally include:
- Neck pain
- Neck stiffness
- Radiating pain into your shoulders and arms
- Weakness in your shoulders, arms, hands, or legs
- Numbness in your arms
This surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Your surgeon will make an incision in your neck to expose the bones of the vertebrae and cervical disc. Once the affected disc is located, your surgeon will remove it and place the artificial disc into the space.
Generally, this is an outpatient procedure, however some patients may require an overnight hospital stay. You will be encouraged to get up and move around as quickly as possible. You’ll be allowed to eat your normal diet, and will gradually be able to return to normal activities. Within 4-6 weeks you’ll likely be able to return to full activities.