Pros and Cons of Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery

Understanding Cervical Disc Replacement

Cervical disc replacement is a surgical procedure that offers hope and relief to individuals suffering from chronic neck pain and spinal issues. But what are the potential advantages and risks associated with it? What are your alternatives? In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the pros and cons of cervical disc replacement surgery.


The Pros of Cervical Disc Replacement

Cervical disc replacement surgery has a very high success rate and more than 90% of patients are satisfied with their results. Let’s explore the pros of cervical disc replacement surgery in detail:


Improved Pain Management

One of the most significant advantages of cervical disc replacement surgery is the relief it can provide from chronic neck pain. This procedure is often recommended for individuals who have been struggling with persistent discomfort in the neck due to disc-related issues. By replacing the damaged disc with an artificial one, patients can have less pain, which improves their quality of life.


Preservation of Spinal Motion

Cervical disc replacement surgery can also improve spinal mobility. When a damaged disc is replaced, the artificial disc mimics the anatomy and especially the functioning of the spine. This means that patients are no longer limited by neck pain, but the artificial disc allows the neighboring spinal bones to move independently. This provides better movement and flexibility compared to spinal fusion surgery. In fact, patients often find that they can engage in activities they previously had to avoid due to neck pain and limitations. This is particularly important for individuals who want to return to living active lives.


Preventing Adjacent Segment Degeneration

Another crucial advantage is that cervical disc replacement can help prevent adjacent segment degeneration. Simply put, when two or more spinal bones have been fused together (the goal of spinal fusion surgery), it creates abnormal and potentially damaging forces on the spinal bones above and below the fusion. When a disc is removed and replaced, as it is in cervical disc replacement surgery, the forces on the surrounding bones are closer to what they are in the natural, healthy spine. How do we know this? Because cervical disc replacement is associated with less adjacent segment degeneration than spinal fusion surgery.


Faster Recovery and Rehabilitation

Compared to spinal fusion, cervical disc replacement often results in a shorter hospital stay. In fact, most patients can have artificial disc replacement as “Same Day” surgery. This means that patients can return home sooner and recover in a more comfortable and familiar environment. In addition, many individuals who undergo cervical disc replacement surgery can return to their daily activities more quickly than they would with spinal fusion surgery. This accelerated recovery can significantly improve the patient’s overall quality of life and reduce the disruption caused by neck pain.


The Cons of Cervical Disc Replacement

While cervical disc replacement offers numerous advantages, it’s essential to consider the potential risks associated with the procedure. It’s important to note that these are more considerations than outright cons, and the expertise of a surgeon like Dr. Lanman can help mitigate these risks.


Surgical Risks and Complications

Cervical disc replacement surgery, like any surgical procedure, carries certain risks and complications. Some of the most common complications associated with this procedure include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and damage to surrounding anatomical structures.


Device Failure

It is possible for the artificial disc to move out of its intended position or to break down. When the procedure is performed by a skilled surgeon like Dr. Lanman and one of the newer artificial disc devices are used, the risk of either of these occurring is very low. However, it is something to be aware of when making a decision about the procedure.


Cost Considerations

The cost of cervical disc replacement surgery can be a significant consideration. The price may vary depending on factors such as the surgeon’s fees, hospital charges, and the type of artificial disc used. It is crucial to determine how much of the procedure is covered by your health insurer, what your deductibles are, and what your healthcare providers may charge outside of these amounts.


FAQs About The Pros and Cons of Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery


How long does it take to recover from cervical disc replacement surgery?

Recovery time can vary from person to person, but many individuals can expect to see significant improvement within the first few weeks to months after surgery. It’s essential to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions to optimize your recovery.


Are there any alternative treatments to cervical disc replacement?

Yes, there are alternative treatments for cervical disc issues, including conservative approaches like physical therapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications. Spinal fusion is the main surgical alternative to artificial disc replacement. Dr. Lanman will help you choose the best surgical or non-surgical treatments are based on your condition and preferences.


Is cervical disc replacement worth it?

The only way to know if cervical disc replacement is worth it is to ask those who have had the procedure. Patient satisfaction rates after cervical disc replacement surgery are consistently above 90 to 95%.


What is the success rate of cervical disc replacement surgery?

Cervical disc replacement surgery has shown a high success rate, i.e., greater than 90%, in providing relief from neck pain and improving mobility. However, success can vary depending on individual factors, and it’s essential to discuss your expectations and potential outcomes with your surgeon. Because of his many years of pioneering in this field, Dr. Lanman’s success rate is equal to or higher than those in the published medical literature.



In summary, cervical disc replacement surgery offers numerous advantages. It relieves pain, improves mobility, and preserves spinal motion. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential risks associated with the procedure. Consulting with an experienced surgeon like Dr. Lanman is essential to mitigate these risks and make an informed decision about your spinal health. Contact Dr. Lanman and his team for personalized guidance and explore additional articles on the SpineMD website for in-depth information on cervical disc replacement and related topics. By staying informed and seeking expert care, you can take proactive steps toward a healthier and active future with less pain.

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