Using artificial "Cervical Disc" for degenerative disc diseases

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Degenerative disc diseases can now be replaced with an artificial cervical disc. The biggest advantage of cervical artificial disc is the preservation of movement operated segment. The simple surgical intervention helps quicker healing and faster recovery time because of minimum hospital stay and faster return to work.

Till now, the most common treatment for patients with degenerative discs in the cervical spine was spinal fusion. In this procedure a surgeon removes the damaged disc then implants a bone graft and metal plate to fuse the vertebrae together. During artificial disc replacement surgery, the damaged disc is removed and replaced with an artificial disc, a stainless-steel device with a ball-in-trough design intended to allow for replication of normal motion.

The artificial cervical disc mimics the normal functions of healthy spinal disc for patients suffering from chronic and persistent neck pain which triggers and radiates right through the shoulders, arms and fingers can be relived with this safe and simple surgical treatment option, according to Dr Deshpande V Rajakumar, consultant, neurosurgeon, Wockhardt Hospital, Bangalore.

This is one of the biggest medical studies of its kind. Surgeons incorporating artificial cervical discs in their treatment regime recommend this procedure for young and active patients who suffer from chronic cervical discopathy symptoms and are uncomfortable to opt for surgical fusion of inter-vertebral discs. Experts are of the opinion that the advanced cervical artificial disc technology could well benefit surgery of the degenerative discs at any level of the neck - from C2/C3 to C7/T1, he added.

Operation of the cervical spine with the Artificial Disc Replacement procedure is performed with the patient lying on the back. A small incision is made on one side of the front of the neck to expose the disc between the vertebrae after pulling aside the surrounding fat and muscle tissues. The intervertebral disc and, in some cases, a portion of the bone around the nerve roots and/or spinal cord is removed to relieve the compressed neural structures to create additional space.

The cervical disc is then implanted in the space with the help of an appropriate surgical instrument.. The incision is closed and dressed. According to Dr Rajakumar, if a person is anticipating a cervical surgery, it is important to find out on being a potential candidate for a cervical artificial disc implant. Patients should also discuss the risks and limitations post surgery.

Patients with conditions like local infection, inflammation, pregnancy, morbid obesity, fever, mental illness, osteoporosis, and paediatrics are not advised for this procedure.


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