Artificial Disc Surgery
A cervical artificial disc may be used in a patient
who undergoes spine surgery to relieve pressure on nerves
in the spine.This condition is referred to as nerve
root compression. Some patients with cervical nerve
root compression present with symptoms that include
neck and arm pain. Most patients find that their symptoms
are resolved with non-operative treatments. However,
in a small percentage of cases, some patients do not
respond well to non-operative care and therefore spine
surgery is either an option or becomes necessary.
Nerve root compression can be caused by a disc herniation,
degenerative loss of disc height, or from bone spurs.
Any of these conditions can narrow or obstruct nerve
pathways. Traditional surgery alleviates nerve compression
by removing the diseased disc, restoring lost disc space
between the upper and lower vertebrae, and fusing the
vertebrae together. Although the procedure helps to
alleviate the patient's symptoms, after the neck heals
and fuses, the motion in the vertebral segment is lost.
The beauty of an artificial disc is it is designed to
preserve motion at the vertebral segment and may lessen
stress to adjacent spinal levels.
Traditionally, the surgical procedure performed is
called an anterior
cervical discectomy and fusion. This means the surgical
incision or approach, is made at the front of the neck
(anterior) and the diseased or damaged disc is removed
(discectomy). The empty disc space is filled with the
patient's own bone (called autograft) or other graft
product to induce new bone to grow between the vertebrae.
A cervical plate and screws are implanted to provide
immediate spinal stability. Over time, the bone graft
does its job to cement, or permanently fuse that particular
spinal segment into one piece. Basically, the same procedure
is used to implant a cervical artificial disc, except
the need for fusion is eliminated.
What are the advantages to artificial cervical disc
One immediate advantage to using an artificial disc
is that one does not have to wait for fusion to occur.
Post-operative recovery is shortened and patients may
or may not be placed in a soft collar. Patients can
return to near normal activities - except of course,
vigorous athletic activities until the wound has satisfactorily
healed and the artificial disc is firmly attached to
The need for internal fixation such as a cervical plate
and screws is eliminated and only the intervertebral
space is affected. If a plate and screws are used in
a fusion procedure, there is the possibility that the
levels above and below the fusion will be affected.
The added advantage to an artificial disc is that is
maintains motion and lessens the chance of transition
syndrome, which can be a real problem in traditional
spinal fusion. Transition syndrome means a segment of
the spine adjacent to the fused segment degenerates
or breaks down, which can affect disc height and spinal
Since bone grafts are not needed, the patient is spared
a surgical procedure where their own bone is harvested
from their hip (iliac crest), which can be painful post-operatively.
LP Cervical Artificial Disc System
PRESTIGE® LP Cervical Disc System is a titanium ceramic
composite device with two articulating components (ball
on top & trough on the bottom) that are attached to
the vertebral bodies. This unique ball and trough design
provides for replication of normal physiological motion.
Dual stabilization rails and a plasma spray coating
on each component help encourage bony in-growth and
long-term stability. The PRESTIGE® LP Disc is available
in a variety of sizes to allow the surgeon to closely
match the patient's anatomy.
The surgery is designed to replace a damaged or diseased
disc in your neck with the implant. The disc is first
removed through a small incision made in the front of
the neck. In its place, Mr. D'Urso will then prepare
a space with specialised tools and then insert the artificial
disc. The procedure should relieve the symptoms of nerve
root or spinal cord compression caused by the damaged
disc. The surgery should allow for motion at the operated
disc level, unlike a fusion surgery.
Mr. D'Urso will advise you about your specific recovery
plan following surgery. It is important to follow these
instructions carefully to recover from surgery as quickly
as possible and increase your chances of a successful
After surgery Mr. D'Urso may refer you to a physiotherapist
who will teach you exercises to improve your strength
and increase your mobility. The goal of physiotherapy
is to help you become active as soon as possible, using
safe body movements that protect your neck.
Recovering from pain and surgery is an ongoing process.
How fast you recover depends on your commitment to working
closely with your physiotherapist, and moving and exercising
correctly, as recommended by Mr. D'Urso.
Mr. D'Urso will continue to work with you during your
recovery. Before you leave hospital, Mr. D'Urso may
schedule followup visits with you so he can evaluate
your progress, advise you about your activity level,
and adjust any medication, if necessary. Sometimes your
doctor may recommend follow-up tests to make sure you
are healing properly.
here for a Patient Information Booklet on the Prestige
here to visit the Prestige Artificial Disc Web Site
Click here for more information
about the technology of Artificial Cervical Discs
Click here for links to
neck and back surgery web sites
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