Cervical disk surgery to improve neck mobility Mayo Clinic Health System

A neck pain issue is frequent issue that affects a lot of adults at one point or another throughout their lives. It could make driving or working on computers difficult or even unachievable. The pain may be restricted to shoulders and neck, or it may spread through the arm. The pain could be mild or it may feel as if you’ve received an electrical shock in your arm.

A cervical disc replacement procedure is revolutionary surgical procedure that relieves discomfort while maintaining the neck’s motion. This is what you should be aware of.

The causes of neck pain

It is believed that your spine is a column that’s stacked comprised of two elements discs and vertebrae. Vertebrae comprise the bones of the spine and disks are cushions made of rubber that are placed between the vertebrae.

The disks serve as shock absorbers and allow you to allow your spine as well as neck muscles to move, bend, and move. The neck comprises seven vertebrae, also known as cervical vertebrae. They are also accompanied by disks.

For some , tension in the neck can cause discomfort. It can be the result of poor posture and carrying a large bag or backpack, or cradling the phone between your shoulder along with your neck or shoulder, resting with too little or too many pillows.

The pain in the neck can also be due to structural changes in the cervical vertebrae and disks, such as:

  • Cervical the spondylosis

    This is a generic term that refers to the age-related wear and tear on those spinal disks. When the disks become dehydrated and shrink the signs of osteoarthritis appear and include bony projections on the bones’ edges called bone spurs.
  • Spinal Sterosis

    This is a condition that occurs when spaces within the spine become narrower and exert pressure on the nerves which traverse the spine.
  • Disk herniated

    It happens when a crack inside the outermost layer the disk allows a portion of the inner disc materials to extend outward. Herniated disks are also known as ruptured disks. However, the whole disk is not able to fall apart or slip.

In most cases neck pain can be treated with nonsurgical treatmentoptions, including rest, steroid injections as well as stretching and massage. Surgery might be required when pain persists, results in neurological changes, such as Numbness or weakness or is caused by an issue with the structure.

The types of cervical surgery

Prior to the advent of the internet, the two most popular kinds of surgeries performed on cervical disks included spinal decompression and fusion. When performing an operation known as spinal fusion the spacer graft is placed between two and more cervical vertebrae. The vertebrae eventually become fused, or grow together with time.

Decompression and spinal fusion surgeries are typically performed together. While these surgeries are safe and alleviate discomfort, they permanently block the spine and alter the way that the neck is moved. Patients might not be able to rotate their necks completely or look at their shoulders.

Additionally, fusion could add additional stress and strain on vertebrae that are between and above the fusion area. This can increase the risk of degeneration in these areas that are located on your spine. This is known as an adjacent segment disorder.

Cervical disk replacement

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved cervical disk replacement surgery as an alternative to spinal fusion. Similar to knee replacement surgeries the artificial disk is able to allow the full or almost complete range of motion after the operation.

In a cervical disc replacement, your surgeon will make small cuts either on the front or side of the neck. Once other structures are moved towards the other side of your neck, the surgeon will be able to gain access to your spine. The worn-out disk is then removed and replaced by a synthetic disk that is placed between two vertebrae. The artificial disk is made up of two plates of metal that are fixed to the floor and roof of the disk space in order to hold it in position.

The replacement of a disk within your cervical spine could help ease arm pain while preserving flexibility and motion within your neck. It also reduces stress on your other vertebrae.

If you suffer from facet joint disorder or syndrome it is not possible to undergo disk replacement surgery.

Cervical disk repair

If you’ve had an operation to replace your cervical disk it is possible to stay in hospital for the night. It is recommended that you begin walking on the same day as surgery.

Physical therapy is scheduled to begin approximately six weeks following the procedure. There will be restrictions on lifting and driving following surgery. It is crucial not to to speed up your recovery since your vertebrae and artificial disk require time to recover.

If you are experiencing neck pain, consult your physician or neurosurgeon about the treatment options that may help.

Navid Khezri M.D., is a neurosurgeon from La Crosse, Wisconsin.