Collin County Living Well Magazine November/December 2017 - Page 53

Cervical Disc Replacement Lowers the Risk of Future Surgery By M. Viktor Silver, MD, FRCSC, FACS, FAANS Y Your symptoms may include: our cervical spine is made up of the seven bones, called cervical vertebrae, stacked on top of each other in your neck area. The cervical disks are the cushions that lie between the cervical verte- brae and act as shock absorbers to allow your neck to move freely. • Neck pain • Neck stiffness • Headache • Pain, weakness and tingling or “Pins and need les” or numbness that travels down into your shoul- ders or into your arms. • The damaged disc may be irritat- ing the Spinal cord (myelopathy) or nerve roots (radiculopathy). This can cause a loss of feeling, loss of movement, pain, weakness, or tingling down the arm and possibly into the hands. Procedure overview Cervical disk replacement surgery involves removing a diseased cervi- cal disk and replacing it with an arti- ficial disk. It is done when the space between your vertebrae has become too narrow and part of your verte- brae or your cervical disk is pressing on your spinal cord or spinal nerves, causing you pain, numbness, or weakness. When these symptoms do not re- spond to nonsurgical types of treatment, disk surgery may be recommended. Using an artificial disk to replace your natural cervical disk is a new type of treatment that has re- cently been approved by the FDA. In traditional cervical disk surgery, the diseased disk is removed and the cervical ver- tebrae above and below the disk may be fused together. Disk replace- ment surgery may have the advantage of al- lowing more movement and creating less stress on your remaining vertebrae than traditional cervical disk surgery, and decreasing the need for future surgery. Reasons for the procedure By allowing normal movement at the disc, there is less wear and tear of the joints above and below. Disc replacement is a minimally invasive technique that reduces the need for additional surgery and it is best recommended for younger patients. Disc replacement surgery is often done with one night stay and with over 90% arm pain improvement. During the procedure Just before the procedure starts you will have an intrave- nous line (IV) started so you can receive fluids and medica- tions to make you relaxed and sleepy. This procedure is usually done under general anesthesia (you are asleep). A one- to two-inch incision (surgical cut) is made on the side or front of your neck. The important structures of the neck are carefully moved to the side until the surgeon can see the bones of the vertebrae and the cervical disk. Then, the cervical disk that is being replaced is removed fol- lowed by the artificial disk being placed into the emp- ty disk space. The incision is closed using absorbable sutures (stitches) under the skin. The skin is then carefully closed with sutures that minimize any scarring. After the procedure Once you can drink normally, you will be able to start eating your normal diet. You’ll continue to take pain medication if you need it and you may be given a support collar to wear in the hospital. You’ll be encouraged to get out of bed and move around as soon as you can and may start physical therapy after a few weeks. You should be able to return to full activities by four to six weeks. Dr. Silver is a double-board certified Neurosurgeon by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He graduated from one the largest neurosurgical training centers in North America only to further specialize in the treatment of Spine Disorders. Learn about Dr. Silver’s state-of-the-art office by visiting COLLIN COUNTY Living Well Magazine | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 51