NEUROSURGERY BLOG

Disc Replacement

Cervical Arthroplasty, or disc replacement surgery, is an incredibly effective alternative to traditional Cervical Fusion surgeries.

Rather than fusing the affected vertebrae together, forcing the surrounding discs to work harder and reducing your range of motion, Cervical Arthroplasty uses an artificial disc. This disc preserves all range of motion, providing a more natural feeling in the neck or back. Furthermore, disc replacement prevents degeneration- or the general wearing down- of discs surrounding the affected area, reducing the risk of a revision surgical procedure. This is a great improvement from earlier technologies, as research shows that 25% of patients who have a Cervical Fusion will require another operation within 10 years, as surrounding discs begin to wear out.

This procedure not only allows full range of motion in the neck, but it also drastically reduces recovery time. Where a Cervical Fusion surgery requires time for the bones grow in, taking 3-4 months for recovery time, Cervical Arthroplasty allows the patient to be back to all normal activities in a matter of weeks. This procedure is also less invasive and requires no bone grafting, resulting in less pain, blood loss and overall surgical risks.

I have done more cervical arthroplasty than anyone in the Treasure Valley and because I, myself, have had a neck fusion, I can say that I would rather have had a disc replacement and saved my full range of motion.  However, this option is not for everyone.  Poor selection between the two techniques by the surgeon can cause long term neck pain.  I have extensive experience determining the best option for each individual patient.

See my video on Disc Replacement as well as two patient testimonials here http://timjohansmd.com/disc-replacement/

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