Can Artificial Disc Replacement Offer Relief From Neck Pain?

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Can Artificial Disc Replacement Offer Relief From Neck Pain?

Do you have chronic neck pain? Maybe it’s becoming difficult to drive because you can’t turn your neck to double-check traffic on the right or left. Your cervical spine could be the problem. You’ve tried the standard treatments, and they haven’t worked. You want relief from the nagging pain that limits your movement and depresses your mood. 

Dr. Neil Bhamb, a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon, has extensive advanced training and experience in the latest minimally invasive spine surgery techniques. With the modern surgical methods available today, Dr. Bhamb helps many people improve their quality of life. 

In the past, spinal fusion (when vertebrae are fused into one piece) was the only option for chronic cervical pain. Unfortunately, some mobility was inevitably lost in that process. 

One surgical option that wasn’t available historically is cervical artificial disc replacement (ADR). Depending on your circumstances, this relatively recent procedure can resolve your chronic discomfort. 

What conditions does artificial disc replacement improve?

Dr. Bhamb determines if the cervical (neck) discs are the cause of your pain. Sometimes, damaged discs produce no symptoms. If he confirms with a CT scan or other tests that cervical disc disease is the cause of your chronic pain, ADR is one possible solution. 

Along with a damaged disc, you may have inflammation in a nerve root in your neck. Degenerative disc disease and the resulting inflammation cause pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness that can move down your arm or into your hand. The spinal cord in your neck may also be compressed, causing pain that radiates down the leg along with the other symptoms. 

What happens during artificial disc replacement? 

You’ll have the procedure in a hospital or outpatient setting. During ADR, you’re under general anesthesia. Preparation for the procedure is the same as for any other surgery. We provide you with complete pre- and post-op instructions. 

Dr. Bhamb removes the damaged disc and inserts the artificial disc in its place using X-ray guidance. He ensures the new disc is the perfect size for you. The new disc is made of ceramic with plastic ends coated with titanium. It restores the height of the vertebra, which helps ease pressure on the nerves in the area. 

When he places the disc, Dr. Bhamb also removes any bone spurs that cause pain when they impinge on a nerve root or spinal cord. The disc attaches to the vertebrae above and below it. Dr. Bhamb finishes by stitching the small incision. 

Benefits of artificial disc replacement 

The goals of the surgery include: 

  • Pain relief 
  • Eliminating other troubling symptoms 
  • Maintaining mobility in your neck 

The new artificial disc eases pressure on compressed nerves so they can heal. 

Restoring a degenerating and damaged disc can reduce your risk for recurrent degenerative disc disease. When you have a damaged disc, you lose height, putting more pressure on the surrounding vertebrae. A domino effect can take place. 

Artificial disc replacement is a minimally invasive surgery, so you heal more quickly than with open surgery with less risk of complications. 

If you have cervical degenerative disc disease but are in overall good health, you may be a good candidate for the procedure. Call the office of Dr. Neil Bhamb or book an appointment through our online portal today to learn more about possible solutions for your neck pain.