A cervical disc arthroplasty, also known as a cervical disc replacement, is a surgical procedure whereby a degenerative cervical disc is removed and replaced with an artificial disc. Cervical discs act as shock absorbers and are located between the bones in the neck. A patient may suffer from referred arm pain if these discs are damage and compresses a nerve root . A cervical disc arthroplasty is indicated in a young patient without extensive existing degenerative disc disease where there is an isolated herniated cervical disc.
For this procedure the patient is placed under general anaesthetic and lay face up on the operating table so that an incision can be made in the front of the patient’s neck. The surgeon will use a microscope or surgical loupe to assist in the complete removal of the damaged disc. In essence, it is the same procedure as for an anterior neck fusion. Instead of a bone substitute an artificial disc is positioned between the vertebra.