Neck pain is not only uncomfortable, but it can also keep you from performing even simple daily tasks — never mind your favorite sports and hobbies. While many people are able to find relief from temporary neck pain with over-the-counter medicines, stretching, and rest, those living with chronic pain due to cervical disc disease need more aggressive treatment, including surgery. Cervical disc replacement surgery is one promising procedure that has helped countless patients gain relief from pain and discomfort.
The orthopedic spine surgeons at EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region are uniquely qualified to perform these procedures, as they have offered artificial disc replacements since 2005 as investigators in FDA clinical trials. These studies also reveal that cervical disc replacement surgery enables many patients to reduce or eliminate their use of post-operative pain medication.
If you have a cervical spine condition that has not responded favorably to conservative treatment methods, there are no better hands you could be in than those of the spine specialists at EmergeOrtho.
What Is Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery?
The FDA approved artificial disc replacement in the United States in 2007. Before approval, most surgeons opted for the spinal fusion approach to alleviate neck and spine pain.
Spinal fusion involves removing a spinal disc and fusing two vertebrae via a bone graft or screws and rods, creating a single bone. Although a spinal fusion can relieve pain, it can ultimately restrict mobility. In some cases, the fusion doesn’t heal fully or completely bind the vertebrae together. There is also evidence that fusion may accelerate the degeneration of adjacent unfused discs.
Cervical disc replacement surgery helps reduce some of the drawbacks of spinal fusion. Artificial discs closely resemble natural discs in terms of size and function, making them a better option for eliminating pain while maintaining flexibility and range of motion in the neck. There are fewer concerns about healing with artificial discs and no evidence that they contribute to the premature degeneration of other discs.
Cervical Disc Replacement Options
At EmergeOrtho, our accomplished spine surgeons perform two types of cervical disc replacements:
The M6-C disc, the most recently FDA-approved disc technology, is designed to mimic the natural movement of the cervical disc. It allows flexion, extension, and side-to-side bending of the neck, as well as compression similar to a normal disc. Patients enjoy restored movement that would not have been possible with a spinal fusion, and the M6-C artificial disc potentially minimizes stress to supporting discs and other spinal structures. M6 is FDA-approved for patients who need one disc replaced.
And, as previously mentioned, a successful cervical disc replacement allows many patients to discontinue prescribed pain medication. Clinical data from a U.S. Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) study demonstrates that 92% of patients are satisfied with their M6-C disc surgery, with 93% saying they would undergo the surgery again.
Like the M6 artificial disc, the Mobi-C has high scores in patient satisfaction and overall success for patients with degenerative disc disease. It also helps reduce pain and potentially preserve movement of the cervical spine. Mobi-C is one of only two artificial discs on the market that are FDA-approved for use when a patient needs two discs replaced.
Are You a Candidate for Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery?
If conservative treatment methods do not alleviate your neck pain, you will likely be referred to a spine specialist to discuss cervical spine surgery.
Some of the most common symptoms of cervical disc disease that could benefit from surgical treatment include:
- Sensation of tingling or numbness in the arm or hand
- Weakness in the muscles of the shoulder, arm, or hand
- Pain in the neck and arm
- Clumsiness or incoordination in the arms, hands, or legs, or clumsiness in gait (the way a person walks)
If these symptoms are severe and have not responded to non-surgical treatment methods, cervical disc replacement surgery may bring relief.
Cervical Spine Surgery at EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region
EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region is home to an experienced team of board-certified orthopedic specialists dedicated to treating conditions of the back, spine, and neck.
The availability of cervical disc replacement surgery is one of many examples of what sets us apart from other orthopedic practices in the region. We want every patient to receive the sophisticated, quality orthopedic care they deserve and Emerge Stronger. Healthier. Better.
To learn more, self-schedule an appointment now. Or, call us any time at (919) 220-5255.