Cervical disc replacement (CDR) is the procedure used to replace damaged discs between vertebrae of your neck with artificial disc. They are cushions made of gel that help reduce the friction in between the vertebrae.

The aim for CDR is to increase the mobility of your neck and decrease the pain. CDR is also known as an anterior cervical disc replacement (ACDR) or the total disc replacement (TDR).

CDR is a viable alternative to more rigid spinal procedure where two vertebrae remain permanently linked.

The discs that line our spine can be damaged by injuries, age or due to specific health issues. If a disc that is damaged in your neck presses the nerve roots nearby and causes discomfort, numbness, or weakness in your arm.

Learn more about CDR and its benefits, such as who is eligible, what you can expect as well as how CDR compares to other procedures.

The most suitable candidate for CDR has a herniated disk that’s creating neurologic (nervous system) symptoms or difficulties with movement.

A herniated disk, also known as a slipped disc can occur when the jelly-like inner layer of a disc is pushed through the outer layer of rubber. It could result as a result of a sudden injury, or disc degeneration that has occurred over long-term use.

Patients who suffer from neurological signs such as the numbness or weakness in their arms as a result of cervical discs may be suitable for CDR in the following situations:

  • may have one or two discs that are damaged between vertebrae C3 and C7
  • Are you an adult that has fully-developed skeleton
  • Didn’t feel relief after six weeks of treatment

Certain people may not be qualified to receive CDR. Some conditions that can render you unfit include:

Your physician will review your medical condition and risk factors in order to determine whether CDR is a good match for you.

The most frequent manifestations of cervical disc degeneration is neck stiffness and pain.

A vast bundle of nerves known as the brachial plexus branches from your cervical spine as well as control the sensation and motion in your arms. A herniated disc inside your neck could cause neuromuscular symptoms in your arms, if it presses on the roots of the nerves.

You may experience:

  • Pain
  • tingling
  • Numbness
  • weaknesses

In addition, spinal stenosis may cause problems in your lower extremities. This can lead to balance issues and walking problems.

CDR is typically carried out under general anesthesia, so you won’t feel any discomfort. The surgeon may place the tube in your throat to allow you to take a breath during the procedure. You’ll be fitted with monitors that will connect to your body for monitoring you’re blood pressure and oxygen levels along with your heart’s rate.

Your doctor will be able to give you the best insight into what’s going to take place during your procedure. The exact procedure could differ however, here’s what typically will happen:

  1. When you undergo the surgery, be lying on the operating table , with your head facing upwards. Your shoulders and head will be held in place. The skin will be scrubbed to eliminate any microorganisms found that reside on the skin.
  2. Your surgeon will create a 2to 3 inch cut at the neck’s front or on the other side.
  3. They will push the bones within your neck away in order to reach your vertebrae.
  4. Your surgeon will eliminate your disc and bone spurs that press on your nerves.
  5. They insert a disc made of artificial in your neck.
  6. The surgeon will close the wound using stitches and place an adhesive. The neck collar to ensure that your neck stays still and also to prevent your head from moving.

The whole process typically will take less than 3 hours.

An the anterior cervical discectomy (ACDF) and Fusion (ACDF) has been used to treat cervical discs.

Gold standard

over the years to alleviate discomforts associated with cervical disc diseases.

In ACDF surgery, the surgeon removes the disc that is damaged and substitutes by a bone graft taken from another part of your body, such as a bone graft taken from donors or artificial disc. The surgeon will then join the vertebrae that are adjacent with screws and plates made of metal.

ACDF can be beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of an injured disc, however it is also a problem when the vertebral fusion limits motion in the neck. It may cause issues with the other vertebrae, too.

According to a review in 2018 of literature on research,

as much as half

Many people suffer from degeneration of the discs in the vicinity within 5 years after the procedure.

A distinct

Review of 2018

The researchers reviewed a variety of high-quality studies of these procedures over the past 10 years. Researchers discovered that single-disc CDR could produce the same outcome to ACDF and has a lower possibility of requiring an additional procedure.

There’s not much research into the efficacy in the use of CDR in replacing 2 discs, however 2-disc CDR is becoming a widespread method. There’s some


It could be as efficient as a single CD CDR.

It is important to remember that there’s a shortage of long-term research on implants and medical devices. Certain patients may require further surgical procedures to fix them. It is important to conduct more research.

In the majority of cases generally, it takes between four to six weeks to be back to normal life after CDR.

A small percentage of patients who undergo surgery around 1.8 up to 5.4 percent, may require another operation within five years, according to an 2021 review of research.

CDR is generally beneficial in the reduction of symptoms of a herniated disk. Researchers from one

2017 clinical trial

The general success rate of CDR found to be 60.8 percent for replacements of two discs and 55.2 percent for single-disc replacements.

For ACDF researchers, they found that the rate of success overall was 34.2 percent for replacements of two discs and 50 percent for single-disc replacements.


2020 review

Of the 139 CDR procedures showed that, among those who had replacements of more than three discs the satisfaction of patients was 88 percent seven months after surgery. A typical improvement on the Neck Disability Index was 45.9 percent.

CDR is thought to be a secure procedure, however all surgeries have the potential for complications.

The general risks associated with having surgery are:

  • bleeding
  • Infection
  • A negative reaction to anesthesia

Short-term potential complications of CDR could include:

The long-term consequences may be:

  • Degeneration of discs in the vicinity (occurs around

    15 percent

    of the cases)
  • disc implant failure
  • abnormal bone calcification in the vicinity of the disc replacement

CDR is procedure which can replace the disc that lies between vertebrae in your neck using implants made of artificial material. It’s commonly used to address a disc herniation that’s producing pain, or motor or neurological problems.

Studies have found the CDR is a secure and effective treatment to relieve symptoms in the majority patients who undergo surgery.

Your doctor can assist determine whether you are a suitable candidate for CDR and also prepare you for what you can expect before and following your surgery.