||Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement for patient's with Cervical Disc Herniation or Degenerative Disc Disease|
are the relatively soft, gelatinous cushions that surround the spinal
cord and act as shock absorbers between the hard, bony vertebrae.
MRI studies of asymptomatic individuals indicate that 40% of patients
studied have disc abnormalities.
Degenerative Disc Disease (sometimes referred to as a Black Disc) refers to the loss of hydration in the disc and a weakening of the annulus (outer lining of the disc). Degenerative Disc Disease is very common in the human population but is not always symptomatic.
Trauma can cause the annulus to tear and disc material (the nucleus pulposus) leaks out and presses on a nerve. When a disc ruptures in the cervical spine, it puts pressure on one or more nerve roots (often called nerve root compression) or on the spinal cord, as seen in (Figure 2).
In addition to pain around the site of the herniation; another hallmark of an acute disc herniation in the cervical spine is pain, numbness, or tingling radiating down the arm. Sensory deficits and weaknesses in the muscles of the arms, the thumb and some of the fingers, can present themselves, depending on the location of the affected disc. Because of the presence of the spinal cord, severe disc herniations can cause spinal cord dysfunction, which include weakness in the legs, balance problems, and loss of bladder or bowel control. Further pressure on the spinal cord may be caused by rough edges of bone, called bone spurs, that naturally build up around some herniated discs.
kinds of imaging tests, including X-rays, CT scans, MRI's and other
more exotic imaging tests can confirm and elucidate the findings of
a physical exam. In general, bulging disks are rarely a diagnostic
mystery. Depending on where the herniation occurs, and the degree to
which nerves entering the spine, or the spine itself, are affected,
a wide range of symptoms
For patients who remain symptomatic beyond 6-8 weeks of conservative care, a decision about interventional treatment should be discussed between the patient and the physician. Increasing pain is a relative indication for surgery on the cervical spine. Muscle weakness or sensory changes which continue for 8-12 weeks or progressive neurological deficit are strong indications for surgical intervention. Signs of spinal cord compression such as balance or bowel and bladder problems are other strong indicators for aggressive intervention.Surgical Intervention, Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Artificial Cervical Disc:
While Anterior Cervical Disectomy and Fusion remains the gold standard for treatment of cervical disc herniations and degenerative conditions of the cervical spine, the use of motion sparing techniques such as artificial disc placement are under investigation world wide.
In theory, an Artificial Cervical Disc is designed to maintain motion as a compared to the current treatment of fusing the spine. This could be beneficial in relieving symptoms and reducing stress on adjacent discs. Currently, we offer The Prestige Artificial Disc, and The Bryan Artificial Disc was recently approved by the FDA.
There are potential risks with any surgical treatment and these should be fully understood prior to having surgery. For more information regarding your possible treatment options, please call 310-423-9986
Last modified: June 15th, 2009