Cervical artificial discs are still a relatively newer technology. Previously, it was common for patients experiencing cervical degenerative disc disease and other cervical disc conditions to receive a cervical spinal fusion, typically an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF).

Cervical Disc Replacement surgery is more successful when performed for the correctly indicated patient and by a surgeon adequately trained in Cervical Disc Replacement techniques.

A number of disc technologies have progressed through the various phases of development and clinical testing in the United States in recent years and received full FDA approval. These devices use a variety of materials and design concepts.

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Artificial Disc for Cervical Disc ReplacementArtificial cervical discs restore the correct spacing between vertebrae.
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Artificial Disc for Cervical Disc Replacement

Research and development of new cervical artificial disc devices continues, and while this is still a relatively newer surgery compared to ACDF, clinical results of Cervical Disc Replacement at mid-long term follow-up appear to be similar to that of ACDF.

No specific prosthesis can be recommended at present, as none have been proven superior above others. While no single design or material has been shown to be superior to date, it is useful to understand the various designs and indications of the available technologies.

This article reviews some of the more common cervical artificial discs.

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Written by Jeffrey A. Goldstein, MD, FACS and Alok D. Sharan, MD