Cervical Disc Replacement

When choosing an orthopedic surgeon to repair something as important as their spine, patients seek out a specialist with experience and knowledge of the latest medical advances. One of the newest, unique surgical tools is now available for cervical disc replacements at First State Spine.

Delaware’s Top Doc for Spine Surgery, Dr. James Zaslavsky has completed thorough training in the use of this new device in cervical disc replacement. This device is the first and only cervical disc replacement in the U.S. approved to treat more than one level of the cervical spine with fewer complications, fewer operations, and quicker recovery times.

How Replacing the Disc Compares to Fusion

Before artificial discs were approved for use, most often a patient would get an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). In this fusion surgery, the doctor removes the unhealthy disc. The empty disc space is filled with a bone spacer or plastic implant. The implant helps match the disc height to the levels above and below. Restoring the disc height can help remove pressure on the nerves and/or spinal cord. Then, a metal plate with screws is placed on the front of the neck. However, studies have shown cervical disc replacement to have benefits over fusion.

The plate helps:

  • Keep the spacer in place.
  • Stop movement at that level. This helps new bone grow between the vertebrae (fusion).

Cervical Disc Replacement

During cervical disc replacement surgery, the unhealthy disc is removed, but instead of a bone spacer or plastic implant along with a plate and screws, an implant goes into the disc space. Where a fusion procedure is intended to eliminate motion at the surgery levels, the goal of a disc replacement surgery is to allow motion at those levels.

BOTH fusion and artificial disc surgery:

  • Replace the damaged disc.
  • Try to match a healthy disc height to help un-trap any nerves.

ONLY the artificial disc implant:

  • Tries to maintain neck movement.
  • Fits entirely within the disc space.
  • Allows for a full recovery of neck range of motion with minimal restrictions.
    • No collar!
    • Safely drive within 1-2 days!
    • Safely exercise within 2 weeks!
  • Prevents the other levels from deteriorating preventing multiple surgeries.

Minimally invasive outpatient surgery performed in our state of the art surgery center.  You are home the same day!