Cervical Disc replacement

What is cervical disk replacement surgery?

Your cervical spine is made up of the 7 bones, called cervical vertebrae, stacked on top of each other forming the neck area. The cervical disks are the cushions that lie between the cervical vertebrae. They act as shock absorbers to allow your neck to move freely.

Your cervical spine also forms a protective tunnel for the upper part of your spinal cord to pass through. This part of your spinal cord contains the spinal nerves that supply your upper body with sensation and movement.

When the space between your vertebrae becomes too narrow, part of your vertebrae or your cervical disk can press on your spinal cord or spinal nerves, causing you pain, numbness, or weakness. When these symptoms do not respond to nonsurgical types of treatment, disk surgery may be recommended.

Cervical disk replacement surgery involves removing a diseased cervical disk and replacing it with an artificial disk. Before this procedure was available, the affected disk was removed and the vertebrae above and below were fused together to prevent motion.

The use of an artificial disk to replace your natural cervical disk is a new type of treatment that has recently been approved by the FDA. Disk replacement surgery may have the advantage of allowing more movement and creating less stress on your remaining vertebrae than traditional cervical disk surgery.