If you’ve been diagnosed with one or more cervical disks needing replacement, start here to learn about the procedure and how it’s changed over time. Cervical disk replacement surgery is a surgical technique that involves removing a faulty cervical disk and replacing it with a prosthetic one to relieve pain and health.
Who needs it
When the space between your cervical vertebrae, or disks in your neck, narrows, it’s common to experience symptoms. However, not everyone shares the same severity of symptoms. Healthcare providers are still trying to understand why some people have more symptoms than others as part of normal aging processes. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, these include:
- Pain and stiffness of the neck
- Arm and shoulder pain
- When walking, you may lose your equilibrium.
- Hands, shoulders, arms, and legs feel weak
- Difficulty urinating
- Numbness of hands and arms
The risks of disk replacement surgery are minimal, making it a relatively safe operation; however, you will need to complete a consent form before surgery that details the possible risks of the procedure.
Disk replacement is a relatively new type of spine surgery; thus, little data exists on its long-term risks and benefits. Before making any decisions, be sure to speak with your surgeon about the pros and cons of this operation compared to other kinds of cervical spine surgery. Risks that may be associated with disk replacement surgery are:
- Blood clots
- Damage to blood vessels or nerves
- Difficulty swallowing or speaking
- Neurological problems
- Pain at the surgery site
What to expect
Before having this surgery, you should discuss the risks and benefits with your surgeon. You should also clearly understand what the surgery involves and what you can expect afterward. Knowledge about the procedure will help you make an informed decision about whether or not to have the surgery.
Recovery from cervical disk replacement surgery typically takes 4-6 weeks. During this time, avoiding activities that could strain the neck, such as lifting heavy objects or participating in contact sports, is important.
After recovery, most people report a significant reduction in pain and an improvement in neck mobility.
Are you worried about your cervical disk?
You’re not alone. Millions of people are affected by cervical disk disease every year. But there’s good news, GNS Surgery Center offers a newer form of surgery that can help. This surgery is less invasive and has many benefits, including less stress on the surrounding disks and more movement.
If you’re considering surgery, we want to assure you that we offer the best possible care. Our team of experienced surgeons will make sure you recover quickly and safely. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and determine if cervical disk replacement surgery is right for you!