The procedure is performed to remove pressure from the spinal cord or nerves from cervical disc herniations or degenerative disc disease.
The herniated disc can put pressure on the nerves supplying the arms often causing neck pain as well as arm pain, numbness or tingling.
Dr. Garcia may request a CT scan in addition to the MRI to check the bone quality and see if you are a good candidate for total disc replacement. Ideal candidates have little to no arthritis, good strong bone (no osteoporosis), and little to no facet disease (the joints in the back of the spine which are involved in motion).
The surgery is performed through the front of the neck, therefore avoiding muscle cutting and minimizing postoperative pain.Spine Doctor Rolando Garcia, MD, MPH
After removal of the ruptured disc, the pressure on the nerves and/or spinal cord is alleviated which usually relieves the painful symptoms. After the painful disc is removed, the new metal disc is put in its place maintaining motion.
Most patients require the use of a cervical collar after surgery for 1-2 weeks to allow the disc some time to anchor itself to the bone.
Hospitalization for 1-2 days is recommended for observation and to reduce swelling with the use of steroidal anti-inflammatories. Patients typically get significant relief in arm symptoms shortly after the operation and are able to return to all activity within 6-8 weeks.