Addressing Chronic Pain

Experiencing pain from time to time may be normal, especially for adults. However, when the pain becomes chronic and is accompanied by numbness, this may be a sign of an underlying condition. As time progresses, pain intensifies, often impacting daily function and quality of life. A typical example is chronic neck pain caused by a cervical disc issue. Neck pain limits activities like desk work, daily chores, sports, and social activities. At this point, exploring different treatment options may be necessary to help alleviate the symptoms and improve daily functioning, but even these can fail. A potential treatment option is cervical disc replacement, a surgical procedure with fantastic benefits.

The role of cervical disc in chronic pain and numbness

The cervical region of the body is composed of the vertebrae in the neck and the discs that provide cushioning and support in between. These discs tend to degenerate over time or may be damaged due to trauma. As a result, the cervical discs can become damaged or herniated, leading to nerve compression in the neck. Irritated nerves are the root cause of numbness and chronic neck, shoulders, arms, and hands pain. Early intervention can often reduce the symptoms. These techniques include physiotherapy (PT), pain medication, steroid injections, and nerve blocks. Combined, these strategies can keep numbness and pain at bay.

Cervical disc replacement as a treatment option

If conservative treatments cannot provide sufficient relief for chronic pain and numbness, or if the cervical disc is severely damaged, cervical disc replacement may be a suitable treatment option. This surgical procedure involves removing the damaged or herniated disc and replacing such with an artificial disc. The procedure alleviates symptoms and restores proper function of the cervical spine. However, the surgeon will need to evaluate the patient first to determine if such a patient is suitable for cervical disc replacement.

Is cervical disc replacement right for you?

Surgery is often a last resort, and the medical team will perform a detailed evaluation to determine if disc replacement is suitable. The first criterion is the severity of the condition, evaluated by assessing the extent of disc damage, the presence of nerve compression, and the level of chronic pain and numbness. Next, the surgeon will consider the overall health and medical history. In particular, the surgeon will look for any contraindications or potential risks associated with the procedure. These issues include underlying medical conditions or previous surgeries that may affect the success of the procedure. Lastly, the treatment preferences and goals will also be considered.

What happens next?

If the patient is considered a suitable candidate for cervical disc replacement, the next step would be scheduling the surgery. The surgeon and the rest of the healthcare team will work together to plan for the procedure. Then, the patient will undergo preoperative evaluations and preparations, which may include imaging tests, bloodwork, and any necessary medical clearances. Once these evaluations are complete, the patient will be scheduled for cervical disc replacement surgery. Most patients are candidates for minimally invasive surgery (MIS) using small surgical tools and a unique scope. This procedure minimizes damage to the tissue, while speeding up recovery. Compared to open surgery, there are fewer complications, like infections, and a higher success rate.

Say goodbye to chronic pain

No one should suffer from chronic pain and numbness without taking action. The good news is that there are surgical options available, such as cervical disc replacement, that can provide relief and improve function for patients with severe disc damage. This procedure can provide relief and improve the patient’s quality of life. The surgeon will thoroughly discuss the patient’s expectations, preferences, and desired outcomes from the cervical disc replacement procedure. This information can help determine if cervical disc replacement is right for the patient.