Artificial disc replacement is a surgical procedure in which degenerated (cervical spondylosis) or herniated disc is replaced with an artificial device in the cervical spine. The procedure is used to treat severe pain or worsening neurologic function resulting from spinal cord (cervical myelopathy) or nerve root (cervical radiculopathy) compression.
Artificial disc replacement has been developed as an alternative to spinal fusion, with the goal of pain elimination, while still allowing motion at the operated level. Another potential benefit is the prevention of premature breakdown in adjacent segments of the spine, a potential risk in fusion surgeries.
Disc replacement is not for everyone as other factors such as the extent of disc degeneration and overall condition of the cervical spine have to be all considered for the best outcome. Dr. Cho is a cervical spine expert with significant experience in artificial disc replacements and will help determine whether disc replacement is the right procedure for you.