Fixing Your Cervical Disc
Cervical disc pain and other associated symptoms can be managed conservatively in most cases. However, sometimes conservative treatment alone does not help to alleviate the symptoms. Doctors then turn to surgical procedures such as cervical disc replacement or fusion surgery. Both surgeries differ from each other and may help to lessen pain and other symptoms.
Removing your damaged disc
Regardless of the type of surgery employed, the surgeon requires removing the affected cervical disc part. Once the damaged disc is removed, either a replacement or fusion is performed. This decision is made by the healthcare provider based on the patient’s medical history and condition.
Replacing your cervical disc
Cervical disc replacement is a surgical process where the damaged disc is removed and replaced with an artificial one. Initially, fusion surgery was more employed but this type of surgery has shown promising results. Studies have found that, like fusion surgery, cervical disc replacement ameliorates pain effectively and safely. However, using artificial discs results in a better range of movement than fusion surgery. The recuperation period is also quicker and patients can resume activities sooner.
Fusion of your bones
In cervical fusion surgery, a bone graft is placed between the vertebrae once the affected cervical disc is removed. This bone graft will lead to the amalgamation of the two vertebrae. A metal plate is used to keep the fusion process stabilized. This procedure lessens pain but the range of movement may somewhat be affected. However, compared to disc replacement, the duration of the fusion surgery is shorter and less blood is lost during surgery.
Using both replacement and fusion
Patients who underwent a cervical disc replacement can consider doing a cervical fusion surgery later if necessary. However, if a fusion surgery was performed first, an artificial disc cannot be done in the same place. A physician can provide the best advice and recommendation if another surgery is required after a cervical fusion surgery.
Going for a cervical disc surgery
When non-surgical treatment options fail, the last resort of treatment is surgery. Cervical disc surgery involves removing the affected part and either replacing or fusing the bones. Cervical disc replacement and fusion surgery are not the same as each has associated disadvantages and benefits. Discuss with a specialist if one is a candidate and which type of surgery is the right choice.