Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery
The standard surgical procedure for a disc replacement is an anterior (from the front) approach to the cervical spine. This surgical approach is the same as that presently used for a discectomy and fusion operation. The affected disc is completely removed including any impinging disc fragments or osteophytes (bone spurs). The disc space is distracted (jacked up) to its prior normal disc height to help decompress (relieve pressure) on the nerves. This is important because when a disc becomes worn out, it will typically shrink in its height, which can also contribute to the pinching on the nerves in the neck.
At this point, using X-rays or fluoroscopy, the artificial disc device is implanted into the prepared disc space. Postoperatively, the patient typically can go home within 24 to 48 hours with minimal activity limitations.