What happens during surgery?
The surgical approach for the an Artificial Cervical Disc is identical to an Anterior Cervical Fusion. The main difference in the procedures is that an artificial cervical disc is placed in the disc space rather than a bone graft and internal fixation.
An Anterior Cervical Discectomy with the placement of a an Artificial Cervical Disc, is an operation performed on the cervical spine to relieve pressure on one or more nerve roots, or on the spinal cord. The procedure is explained by the words anterior (front), cervical (neck), and discectomy (cutting out the disc).In this operation, the cervical spine is reached through an incision approximately one inch in length in the front of your neck. (See figure to right)
The approach to the anterior neck makes use of a plane between muscles, which is very easy to recover from. The muscles naturally part, giving the surgeon direct access to the spine, while avoiding the spinal cord. After the disc is exposed it is removed. Then the nerve root is decompressed, the offending compressive material is cleaned out,and then the an Cervical Artificial Disc is inserted into the disc space.
Once the an Artificial Cervical Disc is firmly in place, tension is
taken off the vertebral bodies above and below, which compresses the
artificial disc and holds it in place. To watch an animation of the
Prestige Artificial Disc Surgery, click here.
What happens after surgery?
The hospital stay is generally 24-48 hours. During this time, IV fluids may be given while your body recovers and your normal appetite returns. You may move about in bed and rest in any comfortable position when you have recovered from anesthesia. Walking may begin within several hours of surgery. Daily walking is the best exercise, setting a pace that avoids fatigue or severe pain. You may return to work when you are ready, and drive after you regain full coordination.
Successful recovery from anterior cervical discectomy and placement of the an Artificial Disc requires that you approach the operation and recovery with confidence based on a thorough understanding of each process. Your surgeon has the specialized training and expertise to correct physical defects by performing the operation; he and the rest of the health care team will support your body's efforts to heal its damaged tissues. Full recovery will also depend on you having a strong, positive attitude, setting small, realistic goals for improvement, and working steadily to accomplish each goal.