Cervical Disc Arthroplasty

Back Surgery: Cervical Disc Arthroplasty

Cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) may be an appropriate surgical treatment option for patients diagnosed with Cervical Disc Disease. It is also known as disc replacement surgery. You may have a herniated or ruptured disc in your cervical spine that is compressing one of your spinal nerves and causing radiculopathy, a shocking, burning, tingling sensation or numbness in your neck, upper back or arm. You may have been diagnosed with a condition called spondylosis, which is degenerative arthritis of the spine. This condition can also result in severe neck, upper back and arm pain, accompanied by muscle weakness and/or dysfunction.

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When these conditions cause significant pain and limit your ability to perform activities of daily living and when more conservative treatment options have not provided relief, your OSC Spine Specialist may recommend this surgical option to relieve your symptoms and to restore function. Not all patients will be good candidates for CDA, so your back surgeon will have to ascertain if you meet the criteria for this surgical procedure.

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Cervical Disc Replacement is an alternative to Anterior Cervical Disc Fusion (ACDF), which is commonly used to treat this procedure and is highly-effective. In both procedures, the unhealthy disc is removed. In ACDF, the spine height is restored and cadaver, autologous or synthetic a bone graft is used to fix the spinal bones into position. With ACDF, the movement in that level of the spine is permanently lost as the bones fuse and heal. In CDA, a prosthetic disc is inserted into the space where the unhealthy disc was and fixed into placed with screws. No bone graft is used and no motion is lost at that level, as the prosthetic disc allows for forward, backwards and sideways motion of the neck.

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Who Should Not Receive CDA?

  • Patients who have cervical disc problems at more than one level
  • Patients who are less than 22 years old or whose bones have not stopped growing
  • Patients who have bone weakness from previous injury or poor bone quality caused by osteoporosis or osteopenia
  • Patients who have any type of infection, especially of the spine
  • Patients who have a weak or unstable neck
  • Patients who have spinal arthritis
  • Patients who have allergies or sensitivities to metals or plastic (Consult with your surgeon.)

Which Patients are Candidates for CDA?

  • Patients who do not have spinal arthritis
  • Patients who only have one problematic cervical disc
  • Patients who are at least 22 years of age
  • Patients who have had symptoms for at least 6 weeks who have not responded to non-operative treatments
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As with any surgical procedure, CDA has potential risks and complications. Long-term benefits and risks of this procedure are not known at this time. Talk about your options with your Spine Specialist from Orhtopaedic & Spine Center (OSC) to decide the best orthopedic options for you.

Specialized Surgical Training

OSC is proud to be home to two fellowship-trained orthopaedic spine surgeons. Drs. Jeffrey R. Carlson and Mark W. McFarland are fully trained in performing cervical and lumbar disc replacement surgery, as well as surgical procedures for pinched nerves in the neck and lower back.

Orthopaedic & Spine Center provides the latest medical innovations and techniques in both orthopaedic and spine surgery to improve the quality of life for our patients. Visit our virtual Patient Center to learn more about our practice.