Not all patients with pain in the cervical spine and back require surgery. In fact, most patients can alleviate their symptoms through non-surgical therapies, such as physical exercise, medication, and physical therapy.

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However, in some cases there is no other choice but to undergo a cervical herniated disc operation and the ideal option, if there are no contraindications is the replacement of the cervical disc (cervical disc prosthesis). The artificial disc prosthesis is designed to maintain movement and flexibility of the degenerated disc of the cervical spine.

1.     What is cervical disc replacement?

The latest invention in the spine surgery hospitals for treatment of herniated disc that causes radiculopathy, is the implantation of cervical disc prosthesis. It is a surgical technique that removes the degenerated or damaged region of cervical disc, replaced by artificial disc prosthesis.

2.     In what situations is an artificial cervical disc replacement suitable?

The artificial cervical disc can be used in situations of cervical disc degeneration or herniated discs in the cervical spine. Those patients who are affected by compression on the spinal cord or on the nerve roots and also those with cervical pain, are tributaries of cervical surgery.

3.  What material is the artificial disc made of? Is it a material that has been previously used in patients?

The artificial disc is made from different types of materials, including a blend of medical grade titanium, polyurethane, and cobalt chrome. Implants made from these materials have been used by spine surgery hospitals in India in a safe manner for many years in compliance with specific and relevant guidelines.

4.     How is an artificial disc implanted? Is cervical spine surgery a known technique?

The artificial disc is normally implanted through an incision made in the anterior part of the neck, generally the right, which allows direct access to the disc space. The surgeon normally follows the following steps:

- Separates the soft tissues (skin, fat and muscles) in order to access the anterior part of the cervical spine.

-The cervical disc is removed as well as the bone material surrounding the neural structures in order to give more space to the nerve and spinal cord (discectomy and decompression).

5.     What happens after artificial cervical disc replacement surgery?

In most cases, it will have been necessary to leave a drainage tube in the wound. The doctor will establish a painkiller regimen to control pain.

On the day after surgery, the surgeon will remove the drain tube (if it was placed) and the patient can begin to get up and walk. The patient may experience some difficulty swallowing that will slowly disappear.

After the second or third day, the patient can be discharged from spine surgery hospitals in India and return home or to the hotel if necessary.

Two weeks after surgery, patients can return to their daily routine. However, it is highly recommended to avoid picking up or lifting heavy objects and you should also avoid putting yourself under physical stress.

During the first month after surgery, doctors will recommend walking as it is considered the best exercise for a cervical disc replacement recovery.

Towards the third month after the intervention, it is convenient to carry out control radiographs to confirm the correct placement of the disc, as well as to confirm if the disc is working correctly. Once everything has been confirmed in a positive way, the patient can return to other sports activities such as cycling or running.