Artificial disc in the cervical spine
The proven principle of the so-called fusion, i.e. acampsia of the cervical spine after discectomy and decompression of neural structures, has been supplemented in recent years by the possibility of implanting an artificial disc (intervertebral disc arthroplasty).
The chance to keep the movement segment mobile rather than to stiffen seems to be good for the wear in the neighbouring segments in other words on the discs above and below. Often they are more burdened by the acampsia, so that the wear process elapsed faster at these points, and led to successor operations. It also seems that the artificial disc have a favourable effect on neck pain, which often represented a problem after Albee’s operation.
Unfortunately not in all cases the implantation of an artificial intervertebral disc is possible. If the wear process has progressed and even preoperatively the segment is no longer mobile, then a motion cannot be restored and the segment must be merged. The implantation of an artificial disc cannot take place either, when large bone spurs and a distinct spondylarthrosis are available. This must be resolved individually for each case with the help of existing findings. Since most artificial discs have a chrome-cobalt alloy with a certain concentration of nickel, it may also not be available for related allergies. However, there are new prosthesis types that are nickel-and Chromium-free. Therefore, you must inform your doctor about allergies, so he/she can resort to alternatives.
Examples of operations successfully carried out
The ideal or classic case is a herniated disc in one height. However, sometimes herniated discs occur simultaneously in two heights. A major exception, are herniated discs in three heights. In these exceptional cases - if certain conditions are met - disk prostheses can be implanted in several heights. It is important that there is a good mobility of the spine, the disc has a sufficient height and the phenomenon of wear is limited.