The cervical spine creates a protective tunnel for the spinal cord’s upper part to pass through. This part consists of various spinal nerves that provide a person’s upper body with movement and sensation. When the space between a person’s vertebrae constricts, some part of the cervical disc presses on their spinal cord. It, in turn, leads to weakness, numbness, or pain. A cervical disc replacement surgery eliminates a diseased cervical disc and replaces it with an artificial one. It’s always best to get a cervical total disc replacement surgery from a facility whose surgeons work with advanced technologies like the da Vinci surgical system. Such technology scales, filters, and smoothly translates the surgeon’s hand movements into precise micro-movements of the surgical instruments.
What Is the Need for Cervical Disk Replacement Surgery?
Less space between the cervical vertebrae is a result of cervical disk degeneration. The disks start collapsing and bulging as a person ages. It happens to most individuals when they reach 60 years of age. However, some people harbor more symptoms from disk degeneration than others. Some common signs that a patient may feel include the following:
- Constant neck pain
- Stiffness in the neck
- A pain that shoots down into the shoulders or the arms
- A sensation of weakness in the shoulders, hands, legs, and arms.
- A pricking or numb feeling in the arms.
Who Is an Eligible Candidate for Cervical Disk Replacement Surgery?
Certain people are suitable candidates for this type of surgery. If you or anyone close to you have the following indications, they must not prolong getting this surgery.
- A confirmed cervical disk disease – This disease can be detected through an MRI or a CT scan. The scan shows soft tissues like nerve roots, discs, and spinal cord, apart from bones. Suppose the imaging displays degeneration of more than a single disk. In that case, the corrective next step is to find out if any degenerating discs relate to the pain. The degenerating disk can also co-relate to the symptom that has been explained above.
- Neurological deficits or radicular pain resulting from a problematic disc – In many cases, an inflamed cervical nerve root leads to a person experiencing problems like tingling, pain, numbness, and weakness. Such feelings radiate down into the hand or arm. In case the spinal cord gets compressed in the cervical spine, the person may experience symptoms of cervical myelopathy anywhere below the compression level. For example, the pain may spread into both legs or hands. They can also experience numbness or weakness in their hands and legs and trouble maintaining coordination while walking.
- Those who have tried non-surgical treatments – Many symptoms of cervical degenerative disc disease can be dealt with non-surgical treatments. These include medications, heat, ice, therapeutic injections, or physical therapy. But if the symptoms keep going on for a month or two despite non-surgical treatments like the ones mentioned above, the person should undergo surgery.
- Those who can tolerate surgeries – Another consideration for this surgery is the patient’s health. The right candidate for it can tolerate surgery and recover well from it. The candidate also should have achieved complete skeletal maturity. Such candidates are usually between the ages of 20 and 70.
It’s best to avail cervical total disc replacement from a hospital with a health care team that puts patients and their family needs as a central focus. You should get this surgery from a hospital that has trusted credentials and awards. With that, you can be sure of getting the best treatment.