Cervical arthroplasty refers to a surgery done to treat cervical degenerative disc disease. Some people, especially older patients, experience damage of their vertebral discs, the jelly like substance that cushions the vertebral bodies against each other. Degenerative disc disease can cause pain, numbness or weakness by compressing nearby nerves. The severity of these symptoms can range from mild to debilitating.
As with most other spinal conditions, your doctor will first try non-invasive therapeutic measures such as physical therapy, bracing, and pain medications. If these options fail to provide satisfactory relief of symptoms, you may be referred to a neurosurgeon to explore surgical options.
Artificial cervical discs are designed to replace the diseased disc, restore the height of the space between the vertebrae, alleviate the symptoms (pain, weakness), and preserve motion of the affected spinal column portion. This procedure is only recommended for patients who have a single vertebral disc affected and have not had prior spinal fusion surgery.