If you’ve been diagnosed as needing cervical disc surgery, you probably have a lot of questions. It’s a serious diagnosis, and getting the right answers to those questions is important.
So let’s help you get started. What follows is a brief overview of everything you need to know about cervical disc replacement, based on answers from some of the top doctors in the field.
On paper, disc replacement is a simple cookie-cutter surgery. Remove the damaged cervical disc, and replace it with an artificial disc that mimics the movement abilities of the original to give you back the natural movement of your spine.
The role of that disc is to serve as a shock absorber and a cushion between the bones in your neck, which are called vertebrae. The replacement disc basically consists of a middle layer made of polycarbonate urethane, and it’s surrounded by titanium, which is what gives the disc its strength and durability.
Why Do a Disc Replacement?
In most cases in which disc replacement is the diagnosis, the other major option is spinal fusion. The symptoms are usually arm symptoms like burning, tingling and numbness, without any neck-related symptoms.
So what conditions typically cause this? Spinal stenosis is one, and a herniated disc is another. You may also have degenerative disc disease, which can also buy you some time before disc replacement becomes a critical need.
Disc replacement used to be a risky surgery, but that’s changed quite a bit. The technology used to make the discs and the steadily-advancing surgical techniques have made it fairly routine.
As a result, the success rate for this kind of surgery is over 95 percent. The arm symptoms often go away completely, and patients can also recover considerable strength and flexibility.
The Advantages of This Kind of Disc Replacement
In addition to those two benefits, patients are usually able to increase their range of motion, often by a significant amount. That reduces the strain on the other discs just below and above the replaced disc, which can also make a huge difference when it comes to general health.
The recovery is fairly quick, too. Back when this kind of surgery was risky, patients faced a long rehab stint, with no guarantees about the results.
Now, maybe patients are able to return to their normal routine within weeks, and the quality of life improvements are considerable.
All of which makes it a solid option to go with disc replacement if your symptoms have led to this diagnosis, so you can go forward knowing you’ve made an excellent decision.
[Did this as a tutorial on cervical disc replacement, used the keyword once. Please let me know if you need anything else.]