Certain patients with neck pain, arm pain/weakness/numbness, or symptoms of spinal cord compression are candidates for cervical disc replacement.
The discs are soft cushions in between your vertebrae that act as shock absorbers for your spine. They consist of a soft central portion (nucleus pulposus) and harder outer covering (annulus fibrosis). Disc herniations occur when there is a rupture of the outer covering, allowing the inner portion to squeeze out, compressing your spinal cord/nerves in and around your spinal canal. These herniations can occur acutely from a specific event or can develop slowly over time, and cause compression of your spinal cord and/or nerves. The artificial disc is meant to replace the diseased disc and restore motion to that segment. Restoring the normal height of the disc and removing any degenerative changes takes pressure off the spinal cord/nerves to relieve your symptoms.