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faq - cervical arthoplasty

What type of patient would you consider as a candidate for the Cervical Disc Replacement?
A patient who presents with a single level cervical disc herniation or cervical degenerative disc disease at C3, C4, C5, C6 and C7(not always), with associated arm pain, tingling or numbness, and has failed to respond to conservative therapy, is a candidate for Artificial Disc Replacement.

What are the potential benefits of Cervical Disc Replacement?
The main benefit of using an Artificial Cervical Disc is preserving the motion and natural balance of the spine. Rarely is a cervical problem just one level. With an artificial disc, the adjacent segment will absorb less impact.

What are the potential risks for a patient who receives Cervical Disc Replacement?
There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. The risks for a cervical surgery include but are not limited to: inter operative complications, infection, bleeding, hardware failure, hoarseness, paralysis, and death.

What are indications for Cervical Disc replacement surgery?
The Artificial Cervical Disc may be a treatment option for patients who have single level Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease or Cervical Herniations C2-C7. Normally the patient will also have corresponding radiculopathy (shooting pain, numbness, tingling) in their arm.

How might Cervical Disc Replacement impact the patient's outcome?
The patient’s symptoms should be resolved with either an Anterior Cervical Disectomy and Fusion (ACDF) or a Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement. The advantages of a PRESTIGE Cervical Disc over an ACDF are: motion preservation, and the shorter recovery period. Patients return to their normal life activities a couple of weeks after surgery.

What type of pain will patients have after cervical artificial disc surgery?
There is minimal pain with an Anterior Cervical Discectomy or an Artificial Disc Replacement. There may be some muscle soreness or some difficulty in swallowing.
Patients are up and around within a day or two, and the pain usually resolves itself within a couple of weeks.

How large is the scar from a cervical disc surgery? Where will the scar be?
The scar for an Anterior Cervical Disectomy with Artificial Disc placement is approximately one- two inch horizontally. The incision is made in a natural skin fold, and meticulously closed for an excellent cosmetic outcome.

How long will the patient be in the hospital after cervical artificial disc surgery?
The length of stay will vary for an Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement surgery. In most cases, the patient may stay 48 hours in the hospital.

Do I need to wear a soft neck collar after surgery?
A soft collar is not mandatory for patient’s who have had an Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement surgery.

How soon are patients typically able to return to normal activities after cervical disc surgery?
After an Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement surgery, a patient may return to limited activity within a week of having surgery. Normal activities are resumed within a month, and all restrictions are lifted at 3 months post-operatively.

What are the differences between cervical disc replacement and lumbar disc replacement?
The lumbar artificial disc replacement is a very controversial procedure that I rarely recommend. The diagnosis and indications for lumbar and cervical surgeries are completely different. The cervical artificial disc is indicated for nerve pain, has a high success rate, and a low complication rate. If a revision is necessary, there are no bridges burned by performing an Anterior Cervical Disectomy and using an Artificial Disc. If there is any type of complication from the lumbar disc, the revision surgery is always life threatening.

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