Your spine surgeon may recommend a Cervical Disc Replacement in case you are having refractory cervical spondylosis and related cervical radiculopathy or myelopathy. A cervical disc replacement (ACDR) has some small advantages over a traditional cervical fusion operation (ACDF).
The advantage of ACDR is that the hospital stay has been shown to be a bit shorter. In addition motion at the disc is retained. But, ACDR is significantly more expensive than ACDF. All cases may not be suitable for Disc Replacement and the decision between ACDF and ACDR should best be left to your Spine surgeon.
This surgery is done from the front of the neck. Initially, the disc causing nerve compression is taken out. The disc that is removed is replaced by an artificial disc made of metal. The goal here is to preserve the motion between the two bones.
The incision size is about 3-5 cm. We generally don’t use any external stitches and the scar usually gets hidden in the neck skin folds. The typical hospital stay for an ACDR is 3-4 days. You can expect to walk the very next day after surgery. You will be pretty much independent by the time of discharge. No collar will be needed after surgery. You can expect to join back work at 4-6 weeks. The success rate for an anterior cervical disc replacement is in the high nineties with a very small complication rate of 1-2 percent.
Lumbar Disc Replacement
Your spinal surgeon may recommend a Lumbar Disc Replacement Operation in case you are suffering from back pain that has not improved after Physiotherapy and exercises. A Lumbar Disc Replacement operation is done through the abdomen. The problematic disc is removed and is replaced by an artificial disc made up of metal. The advantage over a traditional Lumbar Fusion operation is that movement of the lower back is not compromised. Lumbar Disc Replacement has a good outcome in appropriately selected individuals with refractory back pain, where other causes of back pain have been carefully excluded.