You probably know how miserable it is to get a crick in your neck but imagine living with that day after day after day. A relatively new disc replacement surgery is helping patients get back to their everyday lives within a few days of recovery. Unlike a neck fusion, which may degenerate in time so the patient may need more surgery later, many are hoping that this disc replacement surgery will last a lifetime.
Neurosurgeon, Dr. Roseanna Lechner, M.D., says, "You do the same procedure that you would for the fusion removing the disc, but you replace it with an artificial disc and the idea behind that is to maintain motion at that segment".
The FDA just approved the disc replacement last July and it follows a 2 year study. The disc replacement surgery looks promising and patients appear to have less neck pain and return to work faster. Unfortunately, no one knows for sure the long term benefits. This makes the new procedure to be considered experimental and most insurance companies will not cover it.
If you are suffering from chronic neck pain, it's worth asking your doctor about all the new options. You might be surprised to see how quickly you can get back on your feet today after fixing the problem.