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Dr. Jazini Answers Your Questions On Artificial Disc Replacement For Neck Conditions

Authored by Dr. Ehsan Jazini, MD, FACS. March 16, 2020

WHAT IS AN ARTIFICIAL CERVICAL DISC REPLACEMENT?

An Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement is a type of spine surgery in which a spine surgeon removes the damaged disc and replaces it with an artificial disc that closely mimics the natural human disc and allows for natural motion of the spine. These discs serve as a cushion and shock absorber between the vertebrae (bones) in the neck. Once the degenerated or damaged disc is removed it is replaced with an artificial disc. The artificial disc mimics and very closely resembles that of a natural human disc. The artificial disc is made up of a polycarbonate urethane middle surrounded by titanium.

WHEN WOULD YOU OPT FOR AN ARTIFICIAL DISC REPLACEMENT INSTEAD OF A SPINAL FUSION FOR A NECK CONDITION?

An Artificial Disc Replacement is a suitable option for patients with a prominence of arm symptoms (radiating, burning, tingling and numbness) over isolated neck pain, where their hinges or facet joints in their neck are healthy.

WHAT IS THE SUCCESS RATE OF ARTIFICIAL DISC REPLACEMENT FOR NECK CONDITIONS?

The success rate for artificial cervical disc replacements is over 95 percent. This modern surgical procedure improves strength and resolves numbness and associated arm symptoms (ie; arm weakness, tingling, burning, numbness).

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF ARTIFICIAL DISC REPLACEMENT VS SPINAL FUSION FOR NECK CONDITIONS?

  • Preserves natural range of motion in the neck
  • Decreases stress on adjacent levels above and below
  • Quicker return to everyday life, activities, work, and sports/exercise

HOW MUCH MOTION IS LOST WITH A SPINAL FUSION VS ARTIFICIAL DISC REPLACEMENT?

With a spinal fusion, approximately 10 degrees of motion is lost in the neck, per level fused. For example, if a person has three levels of their spine fused, that equates to a 30% loss of natural motion of the spine.

About The Author

Dr. Ehsan Jazini, MD, FACS

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