Am I a Candidate for Cervical Disc Replacement?

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Am I a Candidate for Cervical Disc Replacement?

Seven vertebral bones in your neck comprise your cervical spine. A vertebral vertebral disc cushions each vertebra. And these discs in your neck are the most delicate part of your spine?

Cervical discs are prone to injury and degeneration, making them more brittle and susceptible to damage — especially as you age. Two of the most common cervical spine conditions are herniated cervical discs and cervical spinal stenosis.

Fellowship-trained in minimally invasive spine surgery, Neil Bhamb, MD, with offices in Century City and Marina del Rey, California, specializes in diagnosing and treating neck pain. 

If you suffer from neck pain, stiffness, headaches, or other symptoms, it’s time to find relief. For many, that’s minimally invasive disc replacement surgery.

Should you consider cervical disc replacement?

Vertebral discs are delicate, but they play an essential role: they cushion the bones of your spine and protect your nerves. When a disc gets damaged, pressure on nerves often causes pain and stiffness.

Cervical disc replacement is a minimally invasive spine procedure that removes part or all of the damaged disc and replaces it with a sturdy, artificial one. Cervical disc replacement is surgery, so it isn’t right for everyone. However, you could be a candidate if:

Conservative treatment isn’t working

There are a variety of nonsurgical treatment options for herniated cervical discs and nerve pain from disc degeneration. If Dr. Bhamb diagnoses you with a cervical disc condition, he generally starts by recommending conservative treatment.

Your options may include anti-inflammatory medication, epidural steroid injections, physical therapy, or alternative therapies like acupuncture and chiropractic care. 

However, if you've tried these treatments and are still living with pain, numbness, or other issues, you could be a candidate for cervical disc replacement.

Symptoms aren’t limited to your neck

The most common symptoms of cervical disc damage are neck pain and stiffness. However, symptoms can spread from your neck to other body parts if your condition is severe enough.

You could be a candidate for cervical disc replacement if you experience pain, numbness, or weakness in your shoulders, arms, or hands. Nerve pain that originates in your cervical spine and travels down your arms is an indication that your condition may not respond well enough to conservative care.

In these cases, Dr. Bhamb may recommend cervical disc replacement surgery to relieve your pain, preserve your range of motion, and improve your quality of life.

What to expect with cervical disc replacement surgery

Dr. Bhamb evaluates your spinal condition with a comprehensive exam and medical imaging, like X-rays, MRI, or CT scans. He also discusses your symptoms to determine if you’re a good candidate for cervical disc replacement.

If you choose to schedule disc replacement surgery, our team gives you specific preparation instructions. Most cervical disc replacements take several hours to complete. You are put under general anesthesia for disc replacement.

During surgery, Dr. Bhamb makes an incision to access the disc in your neck. He carefully removes the damaged disc and inserts an artificial one.

He closes the incision, and you move to a recovery room. 

After you wake up, you can expect to spend 1-2 days in the hospital. You receive medication to manage post-surgical pain at first, but many people experience a significant improvement in pain within two to three days.

When nerve pain from cervical disc damage limits your life, disc replacement could offer lasting relief. 

To book a consultation with Dr Bhamb, call the office most convenient to you or use the online booking tool.