Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery
The spinal cord is made up of a series of small bones called vertebrae that run in a straight line. The vertebrae spaces between this spine are known as intervertebral spaces. They are loaded with cartilaginous structures that provide a cushioning effect to the vertebrae and facilitate the movement of the spine. Intervertebral discs are the cartilaginous structures that connect the vertebrae.
Any pathology of the intervertebral discs, such as disc herniation (the disc slipping out from between the vertebrae), ruptured disc, or degenerative disc disease, may cause extreme back pain due to nerve impingement, requiring partial or complete disc replacement.
In partial disc replacement surgery, only a fraction of the cartilaginous disc is replaced by the artificial disc, while the entire disc is replaced in the total disc replacement surgery.
When non-invasive interventions such as medications, injections, chiropractic therapy, or physical therapy fail to alleviate pain caused by degenerative disc disease or another condition, artificial cervical disc replacement is required.
Here are the indications for Disc replacement
- Degenerative disc disease
- Isthmic spondylolisthesis
- Degenerative scoliosis
- Disc-related back pain
- Segmental instability
- Failed previous surgery
- Unstable spinal stenosis
- Back and leg pain
- Degenerative spondylolisthesis
- Post-facetectomy syndrome
What are Artificial Discs made up of?
Metal or biopolymer materials, such as hydrogel, which expands as it absorbs water, or a mixture of the two, are used to make artificial discs. Two plates are used in the most popular full disc replacement designs. One connects to the vertebrae above and the other to the vertebrae below the disc being replaced. Between these plates, some advanced devices have a soft, compressible plastic-like piece. Smooth, generally curved, surfaces slide across each other to allow bones to move. These devices have only been in use for a short time, and some of them are currently being tested in FDA-approved trials in the United States.
The majority of disc surgeons use minimally invasive artificial disc replacement techniques. Rather than making an incision in the back or abdomen, surgeons performing minimally invasive artificial disc replacements approach the body from the front. Internal organs are gently relocated to the left, and the problematic disc can be removed without causing any muscle damage.
The overall disc replacement cost and the artificial cervical disc replacement surgery cost depend on a variety of factors. Any of these factors include the length of the hospital stay, the surgeon’s costs, the cost of medications, the type of hospital room assigned, the cost of anesthesia, health conditions, and hospital charges.
Recovery from cervical disc replacement
After cervical disc surgery, the patient will most likely be able to get up and walk around within a few hours and will either go home the same day or the next morning. The patient may experience some discomfort in the operated area, but this should subside over time.
After surgery, the separation may take somewhere between three months to a year to strengthen, and you can even experience some effects during that period. For the first four to six weeks, your doctor may advise the patient to wear a cervical collar to support the neck.
Eating a balanced diet, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and maintaining good posture can all help speed up the process. Before beginning any exercise after surgery, consult with your physician to determine what level of operation is appropriate for the patient.
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