Simon Harris, MA, MB, BChir, FRCSC,

Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon, Trillium Health Partners, Mississauga, Ontario.


Abstract: Degeneration of the cervical discs is a common problem and can cause compression of cervical nerve roots and/or the spinal cord. This in turn may lead to permanent neurological injury, disability and socioeconomical impact for the patient. Surgical management typically includes either an Anterior Cervical Decompression and Fusion (ACDF) or a Posterior Decompression with or without fusion or laminoplasty. Over the past 20 years, Cervical Disc Arthroplasty (CDA) has been an increasingly viable alternative to the “Gold Standard” ACDF, after failure of conservative management in the appropriately selected patient. Single and multilevel CDA has a growing body of evidence to support its equivalency - and even superiority - to ACDF in long-term clinical outcomes.
Key Words: Cervical degenerative disc disease; Cervical Disc Replacement; Cervical Disc Arthroplasty; Radiculopathy; Myelopathy.

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Cervical radiculopathy symptoms include pain, paresthesia, numbness, and weakness in a recognised dermatomal and myotomal pattern.
First-line conservative treatment for cervical radiculopathy includes physiotherapy, analgesia, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.
Cervical disc replacement is an evidence-supported intervention for upper extremity radiculopathy that has failed conservative treatment.
Many designs of cervical disc arthroplasty are currently available for implantation in North America.
Cervical degenerative disc disease is a common radiographic finding present in both the symptomatic and asymptomatic population.
Axial neck pain, in the absence of red flag symptoms is best managed with an active physiotherapy program and pain management strategies.
Cervical disc arthroplasty is an evidence-supported surgical option to address central or foraminal cervical stenosis at the disc level.
1 or 2-level cervical disc arthroplasty has a lower re-operation rate than anterior cervical decompression and fusion.
Cervical disc arthroplasty procedure can be performed through a 4cm incision in the front of the neck.
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