Cervical disc replacement relieves neck pain due to a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease or other condition, while preserving the motion of your spine.
With cervical disc replacement surgery, surgeons remove your diseased cervical disc and replace it with an artificial disc. This procedure is an alternative to cervical discectomy and fusion surgery, in which a spine surgeon removes your damaged disc and permanently joins together — or fuses — two or more of your vertebrae.
Benefits of Cervical Disc Replacement
Disc replacement may offer the following advantages over spinal fusion:
- A shorter hospital stay (you can go home either the same day or within 24 hours of the surgery)
- A shorter recovery period
- You won't need bone grafts, or plates (for stability)
- The motion of your spine is preserved
- Less stress on surrounding vertebrae, which may protect them from wearing out
Is Cervical Disc Replacement Right for Me?
Your Rush spine surgeon may recommend disc replacement in the following cases:
- You are experiencing symptoms of a cervical spine condition, such as the following:
- Neck pain or stiffness
- Arm pain, numbness or a "pins and needles" sensation
- Weakness in your shoulders, arms, hands or legs
- Pain that travels down into your shoulders or arms
- You have tried conservative therapy (anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy) for at least four to six weeks and still have symptoms
- You have not had prior neck surgery
- You are in good overall health and can tolerate surgery
Cervical disc replacement is not right for everyone. After conducting a thorough diagnostic exam, your surgeon will recommend the procedure that will work best for you.
Rush Excellence in Cervical Disc Replacement
- Experienced spine surgeons: When it comes to disc replacement surgery, the experience of your surgeon can make a difference in how well you do. Spine surgeons at Rush were among the first in Chicago to perform both lumbar and cervical disc replacement. And we currently see thousands of patients every year with herniated discs, degenerative disc disease and other conditions. Our expertise informs every aspect of your care, including whether surgery is right for you and which procedure will give you the best results.
- Alternatives to spinal fusion: While effective at relieving pain and other symptoms, spinal fusion eliminates motion at the treated level. Rush spine surgeons are focused on offering motion-sparing alternatives to treat cervical spine conditions. For example, they participated in early FDA studies of the M6-C disc, the first artificial disc that mimics normal disc anatomy and allows your spine to move naturally.
- Nationally ranked programs: U.S. News & World Report ranked Rush University Medical Center No. 4 in the nation for neurology and neurosurgery, and No. 5 in the nation for orthopedics. Both programs are also ranked best in Illinois.