Arthroplasty (Artificial Disc)
About this Surgery
Used to treat: Herniated Disc (Cervical)
Arthroplasty, or cervical artificial disc surgery, is a type of joint replacement procedure which involves inserting a cervical artificial disc into the intervertebral space after a natural cervical disc has been removed.
A cervical artificial disc is a prosthetic device designed to maintain motion in the treated vertebral segment. A cervical artificial disc essentially functions like a joint, allowing for flexion, extension, side bending and rotation.
The goal of cervical artificial disc surgery is to remove all or part of a damaged cervical disc (discectomy), relieve pressure on the nerves and/or spinal cord (decompression) and to restore spinal stability and alignment after the disc has been removed.
Through a small incision made near the front of your neck (a surgical approach called the anterior approach) your surgeon will:
- Gently pull aside the soft tissues – skin, fat and muscle – as well as the trachea, or windpipe, to access the cervical spine
- Expose the area where disc fragments and/or bone spurs are pressing against the neural structures (nerve roots and/or spinal cord);
- Remove the disc and bone material from around the neural structures to give them more space (discectomy and decompression);
- Insert and secure the artificial disc into the intervertebral space, using specialized instruments;
- Ease the soft tissues of the neck and other structures back into place; and
- Close the incision.
Knowing what to expect during your procedure can help you face your surgery with confidence. Your doctor can give you additional details about the procedure specific to your condition.
How Long Will It Take Me To Recover?
Your surgeon will have a specific post-operative recovery plan to help you return to your normal activity level as soon as possible. Your length of stay in the hospital will depend on your treatment and physical condition. You typically will be up and walking by the end of the first day after the surgery. Your return to work will depend on how well your body is healing and the type of work/activity level you plan to return to.
Work closely with your spinal surgeon to determine the appropriate recovery protocol for you, and follow his or her instructions exactly to optimize your healing process.
Please keep in mind that all treatments and outcomes are specific to the individual patient. Results may vary. Complications, such as infection, blood loss, and bowel or bladder problems are some of the potential adverse risks of surgery. Please consult your physician for a complete list of indications, warnings, precautions, adverse events, clinical results and other important medical information.