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What Is A Cervical Disc Replacement?

Depending on the nature of your spinal injury, there are many different types of replacement surgeries you may consider getting. One of the more common ones is known as a cervical disc replacement.

Short for CDR, a cervical disc replacement is a specific procedure in which a damaged disc located between the vertebrae in your neck is replaced with an entirely artificial disc. This surgical procedure is meant to improve your overall mobility in your neck as well as reduce any localized pain you may be experiencing.

What Are The Symptoms Of Cervical Disc Degeneration

A person most eligible for CDR are individuals that show expressed symptoms related to cervical disc degeneration. The most commonly cited symptoms include neck stiffness and localized neck pain. This is because, as a disc becomes herniated (ie., degrades), it can shift out of place and effectively “sit” upon the root of a large bundle of nerves found in your neck. When pressed upon, these nerves can become inflamed, causing a host of symptoms including intense pain, numbness, neck weakness, and a tingling sensation along your neck.

How Does Cervical Disc Replacement Work?

For those in need of a CDR surgery procedure, the process is fairly straightforward. When started, the person will be put under general anesthesia before connecting several monitors to their body to check their heart, blood pressure, and oxygen levels.

While there can be variations from surgery to surgery experience, the general setting takes between 2 and 3 hours and includes the following series of steps.

Step #1. Person Is Placed On Operating Table

Here, the person has their head and shoulders securely fashioned in place while lying face-up on the operating table. This is where they will be throughout the entirety of the procedure.

Step #2. Surgeon Will Remove The Degenerated Disc

From there, the surgeon will perform a 2-to-3-inch cut along the side of the neck or the front of the neck. They will then move the skin and muscle aside so that they have access to the neck vertebrae. It is here where they will fully remove the degenerated disc as well as any bone spurs that may currently be pressed on top of the nerves.

Step #3. Surgeon Inserts Artificial Disc & Closes Incision

Once the disc has been removed, the surgeon will insert the artificial disc before closing up the incision with stitches and applied dressing. Generally, the person may also receive a neck collar to keep the neck and head from moving and reopening the wound.