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What is Disc Replacement Surgery?

What is a Spinal Disc?

Within the spine you have 24 vertebrae and in between each vertebra there is a disc. Spinal discs are rubber like pads that provide cushion between vertebrae. This cushion allows for the wide range of motion of the spine and lets the bones rotate without catching on the bone below or above it. The neck contains 7 bones, named cervical vertebrae. The cervical area of the spine is particularly important for protecting the upper part of the spinal cord which is responsible for the nerves that give your upper body awareness, movement, and sensation. However, when a disc becomes degenerative or worn out, it can begin to push on the space that houses the spinal canal and nerves causing mild to severe pain and discomfort. Choosing to have the damaged disc replaced allows for the patient to maintain range of motion and alleviate this life-altering pain. There are several ways your surgeon can address this pain but few options are designed to match the natural structure of your spinal discs. One such option is a cervical disc replacement.

When Does Neck Pain Need Medical Attention?

Cervical disc wear and tear naturally throughout our lives. However, there are a few symptoms to look out for that may require you to go see your local neurosurgeon. Those symptoms include:

· Neck stiffness

· Pain that travels from the neck down into the shoulders and/or arms

· Weakness of your shoulders, arms, and hands

· Numbness or tingling sensations in the arms and/or hands

What Is Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery?

Prior to the procedure, you will have an intravenous line (IV) started so that the anesthesiologist can provide fluids and medication to relax you and put you under general anesthesia. The procedure itself can last up to a few hours. During the surgery, the surgeon will make a one-to-two-inch incision on the side or front of the neck, and they will then carefully move important structures to reveal access to the cervical vertebrae and disc. Once the area is located and the surgeon has full access, they will remove the degenerative disc and begin inserting the artificial disc.

What Does Recovery Look Like After Surgery?

Your surgeon will likely send you home the same day allowing you to rest in the comfort of your own home. Recovery and rehabilitation will vary person to person and will be catered to your individual needs. In general, your surgeon will provide you a timeline for which you can gradually begin resuming normal activity. After 1-2 weeks, physical therapy may be recommended and by 4-6 weeks you should be able to resume full activity.

Why is Austin Neurosurgeons the best place to go for your Cervical Disc Replacement?

Dr. Daniel Peterson was principal investigator in the development of the Mobi-C artificial disc replacement device in 2006-2008 and is still involved in the development of next generation implants. In 2013, the Journal of Neurosurgery published Dr. Peterson’s co-authored findings that established superiority to the two-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion in a 2-year retrospective study. He continues to pioneer this effective surgical alternative and is currently principal investigator in the development of the Synergy Disc Replacement IDE clinical trial. Dr. Peterson commented after performing the very first Synergy Disc Replacement surgery in the United States, “The Synergy Disc procedure is intuitive and forgiving. I loved that I could see the immediate alignment correction - the importance of which I cannot overstate. This is a fantastic next generation device.” Dr. Peterson understands these devices and their importance to his patients better than any other surgeon available. Contact Austin Neurosurgeons for your consultation today.

The Journal of Neurosurgery - Cervical total disc replacement with the Mobi-C cervical artificial disc compared with anterior discectomy and fusion for treatment of 2-level symptomatic degenerative disc disease: a prospective, randomized, controlled multicenter clinical trial

Conclusion from the study: This FDA-regulated IDE clinical trial was designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of 2-level TDR using the Mobi-C cervical artificial disc compared with 2-level ACDF. Overall study success required that patients meet the criteria for 5 clinical and radiographic measures at the primary end point of 24 months. Using this composite scoring system, the overall study success rates were 69.7% and 37.4% for the TDR and ACDF groups, respectively, which established noninferiority and also demonstrated statistical superiority of the TDR group. Patients in the ACDF group were more than 3 times more likely to require a subsequent surgical intervention and twice as likely to have an adverse event related to the device when compared with the TDR patients. The TDR study group also had a significantly lower rate of serious adverse events. On average, the TDR study group maintained preoperative mobility at the treated segments, and the 2-year radiographic analysis indicated significantly less adjacent-segment degeneration in this group. These data provide compelling Level I evidence in support of 2-level TDR as an alternative to 2-level ACDF in properly indicated patients.


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