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Artifical Cervical Disc Replacement

The cervical spine has discs between each bone that provide cushioning for movements and body loads. Degenerated discs can bulge or herniate and pinch the spinal cord or nerves, which causes numbness, weakness, pain or tingling down the arms and hands. Disc problems can start from overuse, an accident or simply the wear and tear of everyday life.


Traditionally, patients would undergo spinal fusion surgery, where the disc is removed and either a bone spacer or a plastic implant is placed in the disc space. This procedure restores disc height and removes pressure on the pinched nerves or spinal cord. Unfortunately, the fused area of the spine no longer moves so it can create additional stress on the spinal levels above and below it. This additional stress can cause degeneration at those levels and potentially result in future surgery.


Since 2008, NMMC neurosurgeons began implanting artificial discs inside the disc space to restore height and remove pressure on the pinched nerves. In 2015 neurosurgeons began implanting an innovative artificial disc called the Mobi-C, which allows the neck to maintain normal motion. Because the spine maintains its motion, we can potentially prevent worsening degeneration in the adjacent levels. Preventing degeneration can save the patient a second surgery.

 

To implant the Mobi-C device, the neurosurgeon makes a small incision in the patient’s neck. X-rays are taken from the front and the back to make sure of the exact position. Then the neurosurgeon removes the existing disc, lines up the Mobi-C device, makes sure it’s seated properly and secures it in place.


The Mobi-C has three parts—two metal plates and a plastic insert in the middle. Unlike other artificial discs that require chiseling bone and drilling screws into place, the plates of the Mobi-C device have teeth on the top and bottom that help hold the plates to the vertebrae. A special coating helps the vertebrae grow and attach to the metal plates for long-term stability.

 

 

For patients with multiple herniated discs, Mobi-C is the only cervical disc in the U.S. approved to treat more than one level.

 

Studies show that patients are able to return to work almost three weeks faster than with a traditional fusion.

For more information about artificial cervical disc replacement, contact North Mississippi Neurosurgical Services at (662) 377-5700 or 1-800-THE DESK (1-800-843-3375).