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Artificial Cervical Disk Replacement

Artificial Cervical Disk Replacement

Disease Overview

Disk degeneration reduces the height of the Disk and may cause a Herniated Disk. The vertebrae of the backbone are cushioned by intervertebral Disks that act as shock-absorbers and allow frictionless movement of your back. It is made up of a soft gel-like center called the nucleus pulposus that is surrounded by a tough outer ring of annulus fibrosus. A herniated Disk is a condition in which the nucleus pulposus bulges out through the damaged or broken annulus fibrosus. Herniated Disk is also called bulging Disk, ruptured Disk or slipped Disk. Disk herniation causes compression of the spinal cord and/or spinal nerves. Spinal cord compression can cause pain in the arm and legs. In rare cases, it can lead to permanent damage and even paralysis.

What is Artificial Cervical Disk Replacement?

Artificial cervical Disk replacement is a spine surgery to replace a degenerated (deteriorated) Disk in the neck with an artificial Disk. The artificial Disk, like the natural healthy Disk, is used to replace the degenerated Disk. It restores the height between the two cervical vertebrae, enlarging the neural foramen (nerve passageway in the spine) and relieving the pressure on the spinal nerves. This stabilizes the cervical spine and restores normal mobility of the neck.

How is Artificial Cervical Disk Replacement Performed?

For the procedure, the cervical spine is approached through an incision in the front of the neck. The affected Disk is identified with the help of imaging studies and removed. The artificial Disk is then placed precisely in the Disk space between the vertebrae. After checking the range of motion of the neck and confirming the proper fit of the artificial Disk, the incision is sutured closed. 

Risks and Complications of Artificial Cervical Disk Replacement  

As with any surgery, artificial cervical Disk replacement may be associated with certain complications such as infection, bleeding, nerve injury causing temporary hoarseness of the voice and difficulty in swallowing, and spinal cord injury.

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