San Francisco Spine Surgeons

Could Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement be the Right Approach for you?

Cervical Artificial Disc ReplacementThe spine is a complex structure upon which our bodily functions rely. Due to the interconnectedness between the various bones of the spinal column, called vertebrae, and their correlating nerves, muscles, vessels, and organs, what seems like a small pain could be a trigger for much larger, chronic problems. One of the common issues that adults face is the degeneration or injury of one or more intervertebral disc. The discs that are positioned between vertebrae cushion them, like natural shock absorbers. They are able to do this because their tougher outer shell houses a soft core.

As strong as these discs are, they may sustain damage. This does not always mean traumatic injury. Often, the cause of disc degeneration is nothing more than wear and tear. Genetics and body mechanics may also play a role. If a disc no longer cushions surrounding structure as it should, there becomes a secondary threat: bone spurs. As the space between two vertebra decreases, the nerves that sprout from that opening become stressed by direct pressure. Nerve impingement may result in direct discomfort in the muscles surrounding that part of the spine. Symptoms such as weakness, spasms, and pain may also develop elsewhere along that nerve pathway.

Treating Disc Problems
The first treatment protocol that may be recommended for disc injury is physical rehabilitation and pain management. However, ongoing symptoms, or severe symptoms, may require surgical intervention to fully resolve the issue. In some instances, the advisable approach may be to fuse the two involved vertebrae together, completely closing the space in which a disc once sat. Spinal fusion is not uncommon, and has helped many people regain optimal comfort after disc injury. There is another option, though, that could also be valuable, cervical disc arthroplasty, or CDR.

Cervical disc arthroplasty is a meticulous procedure that removes a damaged disc and replaces it with an artificial structure that reinstates optimal integrity in that segment of the spine. With a new disc in place, the pressure on adjacent nerves is relieved and, as a result, the symptoms along that nerve pathway should diminish significantly. The artificial disc facilitates necessary movements, to include flexion, rotation, and extension.

Patients of San Francisco Spine Surgeons receive personal care in a professional, comfortable atmosphere. For your consultation, call 415-750-557.

Posted in: Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement


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