Spinal discs act as small cushions between the stacked bones of the spine (called vertebrae). They also aid in the flexibility and movement of the spinal column.
As a result of the natural aging process or trauma from an accident, the spinal discs can become weak and tear. This is known as degenerative disc disease. Part of the disc may bulge and and pinch a nerve or the spinal cord (called disc herniation) causing pain, weakness or tingling in the arms and hands.
To reduce pain and restore mobility spine surgeons can insert an artificial implant into the cervical spine (neck area) to replace the affected disc. The surgical procedure to replace the diseased disc in the cervical spine is known as cervical disc replacement surgery.
Cervical disc replacement surgery allows for more natural motion within the neck and, for some patients, may be an alternative to spinal fusion, in which two vertebrae are united into one piece.
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