Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement

What Is A Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement?

The purpose of the artificial disc used in the surgery is to eliminate nerve root, spinal canal or spinal cord compression and preserve motion of the cervical spine. This procedure is an alternate to anterior cervical discectomy (and) fusion (ACDF). The CADR procedure involves the surgical replacement of the cervical disc implant that allows mobility of the neck.   This procedure is a similar principle to a knee or hip replacement procedure.

This new procedure of CADR is minimally invasive and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As part of the procedure, the surgeon may remove the cervical disc and fuse together the cervical vertebrae found below and above the disc. Cervical artificial disc replacement may be preferred over traditional cervical disc surgery because it allows more movement and reduces stress on the neck.

How is a Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement Performed?

This procedure is done through the anterior approach (from the front).  A small incision (usually 1 inch) is made near the front of the neck and the surgeon will gently move muscles, skin and soft tissues to the side, in order to access the damaged cervical disc.  

Next, the surgeon will remove the disc and any bone spurs from the spine to decompress the spinal cord and cervical nerve roots.   The artificial cervical disc implant is then inserted into that space using specialized surgical instruments.

After the prosthesis is implanted into the disc space it is tested to ensure mobility and flexibility, the incision is closed with small stitches.