Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery

What is Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery?

Cervical disc replacement surgery is an operation that involves relieving the pressure placed on the nerve roots and/or spinal cord by a herniated disc or bone spurs-  a common condition known as neuroforaminal or cervical stenosis. Each vertebra in the spine is separated by a shock absorbing disc, which is made up largely of water. As cervical discs lose water content because of disease, injury or age, they compress, or lose height, which causes the vertebrae to move closer together. This reduces the disc’s shock absorbing qualities, which may lead to bone spurs and narrowing of the nerve openings.

If a disc ruptures, it can place pressure on the surrounding nerve roots and the spinal cord, resulting in pain, numbness and/or weakness. If this is the case for you, it is worth seeking medical advice to see if artificial cervical disc replacement surgery is right for you.

The artificial cervical disc surgery offers patients with radiculopathy and myelopathy related to degenerative cervical disc disease (DDD) in the cervical spine an alternative to spinal fusion surgery. The device is designed to preserve spinal mobility and alignment at the treated vertebral segment.

What is done during Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement?

The surgery for artificial cervical disc replacement is similar to the Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion.The first part is to remove any disc compressing the spinal cord or the nerves. Instead of replacing the disc with bone or synthetic graft, an artificial disc is used.

The PRESTIGE® Cervical Disc is approved by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) for use in the US. Tre PRESTIGE® Cervical Disc is replaces a diseased or damaged disc. Made of stainless steel, the device has two articulating components (a ball on top and a trough on the bottom) that are inserted into the disc space and attached to the vertebral bodies on either side.

The PRESTIGE® Cervical Disc is available in a variety of sizes that allow surgeons to closely match a patient’s anatomy. While many factors contribute to the longevity of an artificial disc, the PRESTIGE® Cervical Disc has undergone significant testing to verify the safety and adequate durability of the device.


The PRESTIGE® Cervical Disc is indicated in skeletally mature patients for reconstruction of the disc from levels C3-C7 following single-level discectomy for intractable radiculopathy and/or myelopathy. The PRESTIGE® device is implanted via an open anterior approach. Intractable radiculopathy and/or myelopathy should present with at least one of the following items producing symptomatic nerve root and/or spinal cord compression which is documented by patient history (e.g., pain [neck and/or arm pain], functional deficit, and/or neurological deficit), and radiographic studies (e.g., CT, MRI, x-rays, etc.): 1) herniated disc, and/or 2) osteophyte formation.

The PRESTIGE® Cervical Disc should not be implanted in patients with an active infection or with an allergy to stainless steel.

The PRESTIGE® Cervical Disc should only be used by surgeons who are experienced in the surgical procedure and have undergone adequate training with the device. A lack of adequate experience and/or training may lead to a higher incidence of adverse events, such as neurological complications.

The safety and effectiveness of this device has not been established in patients with the following conditions: more than one cervical level with DDD; not skeletally mature; clinically significant cervical instability; prior fusion at adjacent cervical level; severe facet joint pathology of involved vertebral bodies; osteopenia, osteomalacia, or osteoporosis as defined by bone mineral density T-score of -3.5, or -2.5 with vertebral crush fracture; spinal metastases; chronic or acute renal failure or history of renal disease; taking medications known to potentially interfere with bone/soft tissue healing (e.g. steroids); pregnant; cervical instability; severe insulin dependent diabetes; and were not refractory to at least six weeks of unsuccessful conservative treatment or had signs of progression or spinal cord/nerve root compression with continued non-operative care.

Implanted metal alloys release metallic ions into the body (especially those devices with metal-on-metal articulating surfaces). The long term effect of these ions on the body is not known.