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Cervical Disc Replacement C6-C7

discreplacementddiscreplacement Posts: 18
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical

I had my disc at c6-c7 replaced in July 2010 here in England. I've got a titanium one in there now and so far so good!! Would be happy to answer any specific questions should anyone have any. I'm new to this site!! Disc replacement seems a lot more common over here than it is in the US.

I've made a couple of videos showing photos of new disc and progress of the scar.





  • hi, i watch your vid on you tube its great. i had surgery in the uk as well, i was wondering if you went private, cos disc replacement was never mentioned at any of my appointment, on the nhs and after looking at your results i wish it had. mine went july 2008 but they didnt op until june 2010 waiting lists an hospital proceedures, im left with permanent nerve damage. who was your concultant, i think i might get a refural because mine was a fusion, which still hasnt fused.
  • discreplacementddiscreplacement Posts: 18
    edited 11/20/2013 - 7:19 AM
    Hi there!

    I had my surgery done on the NHS in Coventry by a neurosurgeon called Mr xxxx. A chap from Egypt who has been in the UK for ages and has done over 1000 disc replacement procedures!!!! I saw him in the February and was operated on in the July. I had a great experience to be honest and cannot fault anything at all.

    You sound in a lot of pain from what you have mentioned. I have a few other issues higher up in my neck also - a bit of arthritis and wear and tear but have now been referred to the pain specialist by my surgeon mentioned above. I'm waiting for the appointment to come through. These issues are totally separate from the symptoms I had with my herniated disc and once I had the disc replaced, I was fine - no arm pain or shoulder pain.

    Because of my video I've had 11 people contact me so far and of them, a few have since had the surgery. One lady in the US Army had hers in Germany as she is based there and then another lady had hers done privately here in the UK.

    Hope this bit of info has helped if not let me know if there is anything else.


    Post edited by Liz (moderator) to remove specific doctor's name

  • I was just recommended replacement surgery for a ruptured disk C6-C7 (I already have a C5-C6 fusion). Thank you for the video, it was very informative. Now my fight is with the insurance company to get them to approve the replacement over another fusion.
  • Hi there,

    I am guessing you are in the US? I have a facebook group set up and one person on there wrote the below statement which I thought interesting (she is from the US):-

    I was lucky enough to switch to an insurance willing to cover disc replacement. My first insurance said that it was still 'not proven' so they only approved a fusion. So, I switched and the new insurance quickly said 'do it'.

    I hope you manage to get your insurance company to approve your replacment as it will do you the world of good.

  • Sarah,

    That disc looks a lot like the Depuy Discover disc I had implanted at C5/C6 in December 2009, is it? Just curious as I don't see too many people with them yet as mine was for a clinical trial here in USA.

    I'm doing fantastic with mine. Completely asymptomatic at 5-6 months post surgery and no restrictions at all other than I can't play full contact American style football.


  • Hi John,

    I've not got a clue what type of disc it is but I've just emailed my neurosurgeon to ask him so once he replies I will post on here. Glad you are doing well!! I am also apart from a few other niggles higher up but that is being dealt with. Disc replacment is clever stuff!!

  • Hi Sarah, thank you for all the information. I am scheduled to have my disk replaced c6-7 in two weeks. how did you research (and findings) what to have done, i.e. titanium prodisc ect....?
  • Here in the UK, our health service is quite good (well in my case it was - other people may not have had the same experience). When I went to see my surgeon to talk about my MRI results, he only mentioned disc replacement and nothing else. As he obviously knows his stuff, I went with his advice and at that point all I wanted was for the pain to go away. So my name went on his list and I had the surgery just over 2 months later. I didn't pay to have my surgery done as our health service is covered by the taxes we pay.

    I obviously then did a bit of research prior to surgery on what I was having done but didn't delve into it too much. It was only this month that I asked my surgeon exactly what disc was put in there because someone asked me the question. He used a Baguera disc.

    From the research I did do, I was glad I was having replacement rather than fusion because this meant that I would maintain a lot of the mobility around the disc. I have heard that people with fusion find it hard to touch their chest with their chin but I have no problems at all with this or any other movemenet.

    I hope I have answered your question!! This link below shows the exact disc used.


    And if you want to see the surgery, you can try this link (it's live footage of my actual operation)


  • Hi John,

    I don't think I replied to you but I did find out the name of the disc. It is a Baguera disc. You can see it in the videos I made below which you may find interesting.


    Video of my actual Surgery


    Video of baguera disc


  • Hi everyone! I guess everyone here will have gone through what I am now and I hope you don't mind me adding to this thread with some of my questions and concerns.

    I have been signed off work now for 8 weeks. I had severe sudden onset of mid shoulder, whole arm (left) pain - really severe aching with sharp shooting pains behind my shoulder balde. This happened when I did an emergency stop on my motorbike as someone pulled out in front of me on a roundabout. I think it was a case of 'the last straw' - I had had a whiplash injury in 2001 and to begin with this pain was similar. After a day I saw my GP and was prescribed dihydrocodeine and paracetamol. The next day I leant on my kitchen counter to get some milk out and my armcollapsed underneath me. This really worried me! I also noticed a 'blown' right pupil - about twice the size of the left one - I thought I was having a stroke! Back to the GP - who was absolutely superb - and was in for an MRI (all NHS) within 2 days. MRI showed some bulging disks at C5-C6 and C7-T1(?) but the worst one was C6-C7 which is clearly impinging on my spinal column. Two days later I saw a neurologist and the next day the spinal surgeon. My doctor really did his best to get me seen quickly. The pupil was recognised as the parasympathetic nervous system response to the nerve root pressure. I had about 6 weeks then of very severe pain. Initially not sleeping, no position was comfortable, then gradual improvment.

    The spinal surgeon was Mr Rai from Norfolk and Norwich NHS Hospital. He told me the weakness in my arm would not resolve without surgery and I am on his urgent waiting list. Right now I am still off work and very, very frustrated waiting, (although fully sympathetic to others in the list before me). I'm a teacher and contrary to what some people may think about the job I love it very much and hate being away. I now have moderate pain which comes and goes, but the weakness in my left arm (primarily triceps, but also weakened grip and numbness/altered sensation down the inside of my forearm running up to the tip of my little finger), is all just as bad as it was 8 weeks ago - I mean my 8 year old daughter can beat me in an arm wrestle and I'm 6 foot 1 and 13 stone!

    I wonder if my experiences ring true to anyone else? I really hope to be contacted very soon regarding the operation. I have had moments of doubt as to whether I should have the operation now as the pain is subsiding but when I asked my GP he said the weakness would not improve without it and the surgeon had already said the same. He advised me to stay at home, rest my neck do light exercise and wait out the operation. Does anyone know the long term problems of delayed treatment on muscle weakness? I am worried that now 8 weeks have passed it may be getting too late. I would be really pleased to hear from anyone who has had any similar expriences or can offer me any advice to reassure me about the condition and the operation. When I rotate my head I can feel and hear loud 'graunchy' crunching sounds as clearly there is some 'gravel' in a joint somewhere! Best regards to all! ITServe
  • Hi Steve,

    Just thought I'd respond as I, too, am waiting on the "fix" for my blown c5-6 disc, though for different reasons. I'm in the US and was just diagnosed with this through MRI two weeks ago. Because the disc protrusion is 7mm and severely compressing my spinal cord, the neurologist and surgeon both jumped immediately to spinal fusion, but as I'm not insured that causes some challenges. I did find under some of the new US healthcare laws that there is pre-existing condition insurance, so now just waiting to see if I'm approved.

    In the meantime I did do research and ran across disc replacement as an option. My surgeon never even mentioned it, when I saw the PA today she actually seemed against it as the long-term studies aren't there and it's relatively new here in the US. But the more I read, the more convinced I become that replacement is a much better option for me as it preserves mobility and reduces stress on the nearby discs. I'll meet with the surgeon himself in another few weeks and I'll be pressing the issue again then.

    As for the other waiting issues... in just the 1 month I've been dealing with pain issues I've seen degeneration. The first few weeks I had no idea that it was herniated discs - just thought it was a "kink" in my neck and I continued to go to the gym. Then after the second week I lost feeling in my right leg (which is what got me in to the emergency room and then the MRI). In the last two weeks I've noticed a lot more balance issues, numbness in my left upper arm, tingling in my fingers, and now today we have hyper-reflexiveness and cervical headaches. I'm getting pretty frustrated with the conflicting advice. Neurologist at first said "no flying, no driving, no moving your neck at all", then it was no instructions whatsoever from the neurosurgeon, then today it was "absolutely, get out there and walk, flying is fine if it's short flights, yes you can use the treadmill at the gym". (The flying is an issue due to some work trips) So far I haven't had weakness in my left arm, but I'm told that's something I should be watching for.

    This probably isn't reassuring in that I haven't had the surgery, but I do completely understand how tough the waiting part is (even though I've done it for far less time than you).
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    hey sarah, kristie, john, and everyone,
    This is a pretty cool thread you started here, I find it very interesting. Although disc replacement wasn't an option for me at the time and my existing condition probably makes that procedure not a good option, I am getting to believe that for many it may be very worthwhile pursuing. I think as time goes on disc replacement will be perfected more and more.
    At this time I am almost 4 years post of a major rebuild of C3 thru C6. I have lost just a slight bit of R.O.M. to my left. I was and am once again very active through the help of all my Dr's I am working out a minimum of 5 days a week in the gym along with my career which is at times very physical on my feet 10 hours a day. I will be needing further fusions in the near future but I have to believe that staying active has prolonged my return to the O.R.
    Best of luck to each an every one of you and keep the lines of communication open. If you help just one person here you have done a wealth of good!
    Take care,
  • Hi!

    Just an update for anyone monitoring this thread. I had my disk replacement on Wednesday, (C6-C7). The surgery took just under two hours and was carried out by Mr Rai and his team at the Norfolk and Norwich Teaching Hospital.

    I was to come home that night, but due to being required to have two intravenous antibiotic doses I stayed in until midday yesterday. (Weird having IV antibiotics, as they go in you begin to taste them in your mouth!).

    Anyway, initially my thoughts are that the replacement surgery has been very successful. The surgeon reassured me as such and I am not in too much pain. A word of warning though - try not to lie flat sleeping as I found last night at home I kept gagging due to not being able to clear my throat properly (painful to cough) and swelling in my neck - it's not drastic but made it uncomfortable until I worked out I needed to sit up with a few pillows to be able to sleep safely.

    I have no arm pain whatsoever and everything seems to be working fine, arms legs etc. I have very slight occasional tingling or numbness in extremities but I think this is due o me being ultra careful with my motion and sitting a lot! Having said that I have been able to carefully tidy the kitchen, empty and load the dishwasher and not feel any pain. When I do get a twinge it seems to be muscular and in my right arm and shoulder. Gently moving my neck a little amount side to side and up and down feels very smooth with no sensation of crunching and clicking which I had before, so I assume this is the new disk surfaces doing their job.

    I would love to hear experiences from anyone else about their initial post-operative pain and activity to compare. Although my work have organised cover for me so I needn't work for another six weeks, I feel potentially as though I can return in three weeks - I will see how it oes and what advice I receive in follow-up next week.

    Everyone in my family and friends are amazed at just how active I am and how someone could come out of hospital following spinal surgery after just 24 hours!

    Good luck to anyone else waiting for this operation. So far so good!

    David :)
  • David,

    Good news, and congrats on being on the other side. What your feeling is not uncommon, that many spinal patients do very well post surgery. As far as the healing and where you are, look around there are varying degrees of post. Keep in mind everyone will heal at a different rate. While the procedures are the same, surgery is done on everyone for many different reasons. It also depends on the amount of levels you have done. One level fusions are going to heal much faster than 3 level fusions.

    Also the one thing to keep in mind with ADR's is not everyone is a candidate. I have seen a few that had to have the ADR removed and fused as they really shouldn't have been used in the first place. If the surrounding bones won't hold them it will causes many other issues.
  • After 8 days my surgeon today told me I can do whatever I like! I have no twinges any more, swallowing and coughing are normal. I do have a little aching still around the back and inside my neck due to the distraction of the vertebrae, but only that. I can drive and look right over either shoulder now albeit cautiously, but with no pain!

    If you have a single level herniation and are otherwise fit and healthy I can only recommend ADR. I wasn't keen on fusion although it is what was offered to me initially. I had to ask for ADR. However I cannot believe recovery would have been anything like as quick.

    Best wishes to anyone considering this surgery!
  • What a great update from you. Sure does make ADR sound even more attractive. My neurosurgeon was more than willing to use it for a single level disk surgery several years ago, but since I required C5-C7, she would not and I had fusion. I've always wondered if my ongoing pain and subsequent problem related to an adjacent disk would have been an issue had artificial material been used instead. Guess I'll never know now, but I'm so happy for you!
  • Thank you for your kind best wishes. I know as the administrator said, disk replacement isn't suitable for all. My surgeon tried to steer me towards fusion but also said I was a good candidate for ADR too. He seemed a bit conflicted. I know if I'd had private medical care he would have done disk replacement within two weeks of me showing up with symptoms! I kind of guess it is because I got treatment on our NHS and that ADR is pricey ( around 10,000 pounds) that that is the reason, but I could be wrong of course.
    I do wonder if I would still need fusion if the disks above or below went or if they could also have ADR?

    My scar is really healing well, Its just a line! I had a little absess in the staple hole at one end but the doctor said just to poke it and treat it with antiseptic cream and that seems to have done the trick.
  • In a few months time I am going to have a cervical disc removed on the NHS. My consultant told me I would be able to have an artificial mobile disc replacement which would give me a very good range of movement. He stated about 98 percent of my natural range of movement. Having previously had a double discectomy in my lumber spine with a straight forward immobile fusion this sounds extremely positive to me.

    So I wondered if anyone could give me some feed back on their experience of this cervical mobile disc replacement obtained through the NHS and how 'natural' it seems.

    Many Thanks

    Jay Brown
  • Hi all
    I had c5 and c6 replaced here in the UK on March 12th. All went well with the surgery and I was home the next day. A bit of background..diagnosed with cervical spondylosis about four years ago. Had on and off neck pain ever since but nothing too bad. Then out of the blue at the end of December 2012 I started to experience pins and needles in my left hand. Within a few weeks this had progressed to me unable to hold a pen, do my buttons up or tie a shoe lace. My GP referred me for an urgent MRI scan and that was followed through within a week by an appointment with a spinal consultant. By this point, March 8th I was practically unable to walk....very weak legs and they just would not move other than real small baby steps. I was told at the consultation I had cervical myelopathy. The pins and needles was now in both my hands and I really struggled to move. Not alot of neck pain I have to say, but it was there. I was booked in for surgery four days later due to the severity of my symptoms. Now, almost five weeks after surgery and the replacement of c5 and c6 and decompression, I feel ok but very disappointed at my progress. The pins and needles has gone grom my right hand other than my little finger, but mh left jand it is still very much present in four fingers and my palm. I can hold a pen now and do my buttons up though. My legs, whilst still very weak, have improved slightly. I get very tired after short walks though. I still have tremors in my legs, especially if I hold my leg up on the ball of my foot and also if I have been doing too much. I really thought I would have been alot better by now! I also have quite a bit of pain in my neck, which I didnt really have before my surgery. Not had my six week check yet but my GP thinks I could have permanent nerve damage now. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced the same as me? I was hoping to be back to work by now but cannot see that happening for a while as this rate. This has been alot more difficult to recover from that I had anticipated!!!
  • I had a cervical disc replacement at c6/7 in July after basically destroying the disc in December of 2012. I still have a slight burning behind my left shoulder blade but nothing compared to what it was probably just from the amount of nerve damage I had. Today I noticed my neck is clicking when I turn left and right which is just strange, anyone else have these issues? I had a secure c artificial disc put in.
  • I am so glad that all of you have had such good success with the adr, I haven't gotten to that point yet and really hoping that I don't come to that but I am beginning to think it is inevitable. I was/am having stiff necks very bad, like I slept wrong, then I had pain going down my arm, then the tingling started. I am doing the epidural injections now, had 2 of them and I am thinking they aren't gonna work. I really don't want to get fused, I have bad discs in my entire neck and I know that if you are fused it stresses the discs above and below the fusion. If I must have surgery then I really want adr so I can go on with my normal life and not worry about being in the same boat 6 months later. You guys have reassured me that adr can be successful!!!
  • I know this thread is old, but it's so reassuring to read it! I'm scheduled for an ADR at C6-7 on Dec 17th.
    Quick history on me:
    Per my signature I've been dealing with lumbar issues for over 10 years (started at age 24) after being in a bad car accident.
    This past May I started having nerve pain down my right arm with intermittent tingling and pins and needles. Gave it a few weeks and when it didn't go away I called my n/s for a steroid pack. Got a little relief from that but only short lived. Went for a MRI at the beginning of July which found a large herniation at C6-7 causing severe spinal cord compression. My n/s immediately recommended ADR saying conservative methods wouldn't help a herniation that size and we needed to act quickly due to the amount of cord compression. I was obviously a bit overwhelmed upon receipt of this news and told him he could pursue insurance approval but I didn't feel ready for surgery. I met with 2 more opinions (a n/s that recommended an ACDF and an o/s that recommended an ADR). However both of the additional opinions suggested trying an ESI prior to surgery. I did that in August with no results. At that point I scheduled my ADR for Nov 26 (wanted to miss as little work as possible so chose to do it prior to Thanksgiving break) and it was approved by my insurance - thankfully! Had a recurrent lumbar herniation beginning of Sept. MRI at the beginning of Nov found severe disc extrusion and I had foot drop so my n/s chose to do an emergency (next day) micro d/s and postpone my cervical ADR until next month.
    Needless to say I'm looking forward to hopefully starting 2014 pain free!
    March 2002 L4-5 open d/s
    July 2012 L4-5 micro d/s
    November 2013 L4-5 micro d/s
    December 2013 C6-7 ADR
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