Orthopaedics Menu Orthopaedics Shoulder & Elbow Patient Education Materials Dislocated Shoulder Elbow Pain Elbow Pain Treatment Options Elbow Surgery Minimally Invasive Shoulder Surgery Shoulder & Elbow Doctors & Surgeons Shoulder Arthritis Shoulder Pain Shoulder Replacement Reverse Shoulder Replacement Shoulder Replacement Recovery Shoulder Replacement - FAQs Shoulder Treatment Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery If you’re experiencing neck pain, you know it can slow you down and keep you from enjoying some of your favorite activities. Fortunately, neck pain can often be relieved with rest, medication or even physical therapy. However, if your neck pain isn’t improving, and is being caused by damage or deterioration to a disc in your neck, your doctor may talk to you about cervical disc replacement surgery. What is a cervical disc? There are six cervical discs in your neck – one between each vertebra that makes up your cervical spine (the top seven vertebrae below your skull). These discs act like shock absorbers between your vertebrae, keeping each vertebra in place and allowing for slight movement in your back. What causes neck pain? Neck pain can sometimes be caused by damaged cervical discs – such as from a sudden, forceful collision like a fall or car crash. More commonly, degenerative disc disease can cause chronic neck pain. Degenerative disc disease refers to the natural wear and tear we all experience along our spines as a result of everyday activity. Discs can become dry or cracked, which can cause temporary or chronic pain. Meet Your Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon John Jacquemin, MD What is cervical disc replacement surgery? Cervical disc replacement surgery may be a good option for individuals suffering from continued neck pain caused by degenerative disc disease, arthritis or an accident. During the cervical disc replacement procedure, your surgeon removes the damaged disc in your neck and replaces it with an artificial disc. At St. Elizabeth, patients benefit from the latest technology in cervical disc surgery with Mobi-C, an artificial disc that can help restore movement to the neck, including turning, twisting and bending. Cervical disc replacement offers many benefits, including improved mobility, reduced pain and a long-lasting solution. Patients who undergo the procedure have a lower risk of needing additional surgeries for up to 10 years after the procedure. What should I expect during cervical disc replacement? The procedure takes approximately 2-3 hours. A small incision, roughly two inches, is made in the front of the neck to access the disc. Surgeons work to make the incision in skin folds so that it is not noticeable as it heals. How long does recovery take? After cervical neck replacement surgery, patients are monitored overnight and are often released the next day. Generally, light activity is allowed and pain is managed with medication. Most patients are able to return to work within 2-4 weeks after surgery. As your body and incision heal, you will need to avoid jarring motions or activities, such as jumping, running or lifting heaving objects . Your physician and physical therapist will outline what you can and cannot do in the first days, weeks and months after cervical disc replacement surgery. Recovering completely from spinal surgery can take weeks or months. The best way to approach surgery and your recovery is with patience and determination. Commit yourself to following your physician’s instructions and an exercise regimen. It will help you recover faster and stronger. How can I prepare for cervical disc replacement? If your doctor has recommended surgery, it’s important to prepare before you arrive at the hospital. Spend time getting familiar with your procedure. Learn how you can get on the road to recovery and begin putting your support team in place. Talk to your surgeon about any medications you are currently taking. If you use tobacco, this is a perfect time to stop. Nicotine prevents bone growth and reduces the chances of successful fusion. Avoid all tobacco products: cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes and chewing tobacco. Learn more If you are concerned about your neck pain and would like to learn more about possible causes and treatment options, call our affiliated orthopaedic surgeons from OrthoCincy Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine at 859-301-BONE (2663) or visit orthocincy.com to schedule an appointment today.