For patients who want to retain as much range of motion as possible, cervical artificial disc replacement (CADR) resents a viable alternative to traditional spine fusion surgery. Having gained FDA approval in 2004, the procedure is still considered fairly new, although it’s widely considered one of the leading advances in spine and neck surgery.
How It Works
The purpose of the procedure, as is the case with traditional fusion surgery for the spine, is to reduce pressure on the spinal cord or adjacent nerves. During the procedure, an artificial disc, usually made of metal or a combination of metal and plastic, is inserted between cervical vertebrae after the offending disc is removed.
Retaining Motion at the Disc Space
The goal of artificial disc replacement is to preserve natural motion within the space where the damaged or worn disc was located. The procedure also greatly reduces the odds of complications sometimes associated with bone grafts and the use of plates and screws – not required with this procedure. The potential for degenerative damage to adjacent discs and joints is also greatly reduced since other discs do not have to bear an increased load.
Since bone healing is not required, patients are typically encouraged to stand and walk within a day or two after surgery. Basic walking and stretching exercises are recommended once the patient is discharged from the hospital, usually after 2-4 days.
- Faster recovery time since no bone graft is necessary
- Earlier restoration of neck motion following surgery
- No postoperative neck brace required
- Allergic reaction to artificial disc material
- Tissue swelling
- Surgical site infections
Clinical trials are taking place in the United States to test various artificial disc technologies. Dr. Hyun W. Bae, Medical Director of The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration, was the co-inventor and principal researcher of one such clinical trial for Mobi-C – the first and only FDA approved cervical disc for one and two level indications.
If you are considering cervical artificial disc replacement, work with Dr. Bae, one of the top Mobi-C surgeons in Los Angeles. Call us at 310-828-7757 to schedule an in-person consultation or to request more information. The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration is always an expert in insurance authorization for multi-level disc replacement, so we’ll be able to answer any questions you may have about cost as well.