Neck Fusion Technology

Artificial Disc Replacement Technique

  • The spine segments are held together is in front by a disc which is an elastic donut shaped structure containing jelly in its core. When the outer elastic wall gets torn due to injury or becomes lax in the aging process (some patients may just be genetically prone), the inner gelatinous material may leak outside the disc causing irritation of the surrounding nerves. This condition is called disc herniation.
  • When it happens in the neck, it is called cervical disc herniation.
  • Patients with disc herniation in the neck experience neck pain which travels down to the arms and hands through the nerves.
  • The pain may also shoot up into the base of the skull causing headaches.
  • Conventional surgery involves removal of disc and fusing the spine with using cages and screws. Fusion is essentially welding the bones together.
  • Fusion surgery provides good outcomes in appropriately selected patients. However, it eliminates the motion at that level. There are long term concerns associated with extra loading of the levels next to the fused ones which may become painful overtime.
  • Artificial disc replacement technique on the other hand preserves the natural motion of the spine thus lowers the risk of problems at the adjacent levels.
  • The technique involves exposing the diseased disc through a small incision on the front of the neck and removing the herniated disc to the take the pressure off the irritated nerves.
  • Then an artificial disc of appropriate size is placed inside the disc space.





Advantages of the artificial disc replacement technique:
  1. Outpatient procedure
  2. Preserves the natural motion of the neck
  3. Lowers the long-term risks of problems at adjacent levels
  4. No neck bracing is required


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