Dealing with neck pain can significantly interfere with your life, causing severe discomfort and limited productivity throughout the day. Therefore, seeking a remedy for the problem is advisable to help you combat the condition and return to your healthy everyday life. Cervical artificial disc surgery is among the treatment options for a painful neck condition and has multiple benefits. As a patient, you want to work with a trusted and skilled doctor, making it necessary to verify your chosen doctor’s experience and qualifications.
At Dr. Rappard’s practice, you receive quality medical services and specialized care to handle any complications arising from disc degeneration. Our role is to diagnose you correctly and walk you through the various processes before and after your surgery for the best results. With our help, you do not need to worry about facing complications from cervical disc conditions, as we will handle your case effectively. Our services are available for anyone seeking cervical artificial disc surgery in Beverly Hills, California.
The Need for an Artificial Disc Surgery
Your spinal cord is made of cervical discs layered on top of each other, through which your nerves are supported and can relay information to various body parts. Additionally, your cervical discs support your neck and back positioning; hence, they are essential to your flexibility and ability to move.
Your cervical disc material comprises the nucleus pulposus and the annulus fibrosus. The internal part is prone to wear and tear due to continuous use and friction and can bulge out of the protective outer layer. If this happens, the disc degenerates and may compress the surrounding nerves. You are likely to experience pain and discomfort around the affected area, often the neck, prompting the need for medical attention.
Once your doctor examines the area, they can recommend cervical artificial disc surgery in Los Angeles, which involves the removal of the affected disc and replacement with an artificial one. The objective is to restore proper disc function without compromising mobility and comfort.
How to Prepare for the Cervical Artificial Disc Surgery in Los Angeles
Having established the need to have artificial disc surgery, you must prepare for it to avoid unforeseen complications. By working closely with your doctor, you learn the various things to look for in preparation for the procedure.
Your preparation begins at the first consultation appointment, where you can present your concerns to the doctor. By listening to your grievances, they are better equipped to identify and diagnose the problem in readiness for treatment. They can also establish at the first consultation whether your condition requires surgery. Additional preparation procedures include:
Undergo a Physical and Imaging Examination
Firstly, your doctor will assess the nature of your degenerated disc by checking its position in the spine and its impact on surrounding nerves and discs. To do this, they begin with a physical examination to feel the discs, followed by an X-ray imaging session to capture clear images of the disc arrangements.
Usually, these exams are undertaken on the first consultation appointment to help the doctor uncover the full extent of the condition. They then determine the best operative method based on the affected disc and the ease of fitting an artificial disc to replace the degenerated one.
Providing Your Medical History
If your doctor recommends cervical artificial disc surgery in Los Angeles as a remedy for a degenerated disc, they will require information on your medical history before proceeding. Your medical history details are essential because they can reveal critical information influencing the treatment process.
For example, if you are allergic to specific anesthesia medications, the doctor must learn this before surgery to prevent you from suffering an allergic reaction. Similarly, you should disclose any allergies to medicine, including pain relief and antibiotic drugs.
When providing your medical history details, be sure also to indicate whether you are currently under any prescription and whether you have previously suffered from spinal disorders. Talking about any previous surgeries you may have had is also crucial because it guides the doctor on whether to operate in the same area again or find a new alternative.
Checking Into Hospital In Advance of Surgery
Although cervical artificial disc surgery in Los Angeles is minimally invasive, they require you to check into the hospital early enough and begin the pre-surgical routine to ensure all processes go smoothly. For example, the attending nurses should ensure you do not eat for a specific duration before surgery to avoid anesthesia-related complications and the possibility of choking.
Additionally, you need to confirm that you have someone to drive you home after the surgery and that all insurance coverage or cash payments are in order before surgery. Therefore, the combination of medical and administrative procedures calls for your presence in the hospital well before the actual process.
Goals of the Disc Surgery
Your doctor has several goals when beginning the surgical process, and you need to understand what they intend to achieve for better confidence in the treatment. The overall goal of cervical artificial disc surgery in Los Angeles is to relieve neck pain caused by a herniated or degenerated disc. To achieve this, your doctor must ensure they meet these objectives:
Remove the Degenerated Disc
Firstly, the medical team must access and remove the degenerated disc that is causing pain to the surrounding neck area. Your doctor will have identified the disc in advance through the X-ray and physical exam they undertake, so you do not have to worry about incorrect findings.
To begin the process, your doctor makes a small incision at the back of your neck, usually around three centimeters. The incision should be made in the identified area to avoid extra scarring of healthy discs. They will then reach for the degenerated disc and carefully remove it, reducing the compression on any nerves.
Inserting the Artificial Disc
Upon removing the degenerated disc, your doctor will replace it with an artificial disc to ensure you retain your normal neck mobility. They will have already picked out the disc size and shape to match your natural disc shape, as using any other type can cause additional strain to the nerves and surrounding discs.
Reduce Nerve Compression
When replacing the discs, your doctor should also be careful to reduce nerve compression, as it is the primary cause of pain in the affected area. They do this by ensuring sufficient space for the nerve roots to remain in position and support regular neck motion without causing pain.
Risks Associated With the Surgery
Although your medical team does its best to ensure your cervical artificial disc surgery goes smoothly, they are responsible for disclosing any possible risks that may arise. Telling you about the risks does not highlight the possibility of them occurring, but it helps you, as a patient, make an informed decision on whether to proceed with the surgery.
Some risks associated with the surgery include:
Since your spinal doctor makes a small incision to remove and replace the degenerated disc with an artificial one, you will have an open wound. While proper cleaning and care around the damage should continue after surgery, an oversight may occur, resulting in a wound infection.
Infections present symptoms like fever, body fatigue, and a high white blood cell count, all detectable after scheduling a consultation. Seeking early medical treatment is essential to prevent the infection from advancing into a severe medical problem like sepsis.
The spinal cord provides a passageway for your nerves to travel to different body parts, meaning you could be prone to nerve damage during surgery. The risk is high if your doctor has less experience than is required to undertake the surgery, so partnering with a trusted medical team is critical. Additionally, nerve damage is more likely if the degenerated disc is highly compressed, causing inevitable nerve damage during removal.
Sometimes, the damage is minimal and reversible, meaning you can rely on your sense of touch after full recovery. However, in rare cases, the nerve damage may be so severe that it could cause reduced activity in the receptors. Complications may result in paralysis, but the statistics on these outcomes are low.
Based on the need to create an incision for the surgery, you may also be at risk of continuous bleeding, resulting in significant blood loss. However, the risk is low unless you have a low platelet count. If you live with the condition, inform your doctor as soon as possible to ensure they prepare sufficient remedies to reduce blood loss risk during and after surgery.
Aftercare Tips to Incorporate Post Surgery
After your medical professional concludes the surgery, they will offer some aftercare tips to incorporate into your everyday life. Observing these guidelines promotes faster healing and reduces the chances of developing complications. Ensuring compliance as directed is, therefore, essential, and you can also consult on any emerging issues you experience during the recovery period.
Some essential aftercare tips for incorporating are:
Take Your Pain Medication as Prescribed
You may be in pain after the surgery because of the incision cuts, disc replacement, and the new artificial disc introduced in your spine. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication to help manage the discomfort, resulting in a medical prescription.
Although you may experience pain relief before completing the dosage, you want to complete the prescription as instructed for maximum effectiveness. Since your doctor understands the significance of the dosage offered, you want to complete it for better chances of continuing with a pain-free life.
Attend Follow-Up Appointments
Additionally, you must attend all follow-up medical appointments with your doctor to ensure they track your recovery progress. The doctor may schedule the appointments after a few weeks, and they will do so with your approval. It is important to propose different dates to avoid scheduling conflicts, as it enables you to attend all sessions consistently.
Although the follow-up sessions may be brief, they play a significant role in helping your doctor identify any signs of complications or non-improvement and take appropriate steps. You can also use these appointments to raise concerns about the treatment, including discomfort or dull pain in the operated area. In doing so, your doctor can review any missteps that could have occurred during the cervical artificial disc surgery in Los Angeles and remedy them immediately.
Stick to Light Duty Work
Many cases involving cervical disc degeneration arise from continuous friction on the discs, which causes deterioration. The primary causes of intense conflict include heavy-duty tasks like lifting loads and high-impact sports. To avoid similar complications, your doctor will advise you to only undertake light-duty tasks until you receive clearance to handle more demanding tasks.
Following these directives is important a few weeks after surgery because your artificial disc is still merging to work cohesively with the adjacent discs. Applying pressure to it can create serious spinal complications, warranting drastic medical intervention. However, the condition does not have to be permanent, but the doctor must be satisfied that your cervical discs are not at risk of further damage.
Contact a Neurointerventional Los Angeles Spine Surgeon Near Me
Chronic pain arising from spinal disc degeneration can interfere with your everyday life, causing severe discomfort for you or your loved one. As a remedy, your doctor may recommend cervical artificial disc surgery to remove and replace the affected disc with an artificial one.
Although most surgeries go well, you may still be prone to post-surgical risks that could cause further complications to your condition. To avoid this, you need to work with an accredited and trusted medical team that understands the importance of taking preventive measures before, during, and after surgery.
At Dr. Rappard’s practice, you will receive high-quality and specialized care to remedy the affected cervical disc and promote pain relief in the previously affected area. You can also expect specialized guidelines and aftercare assistance to ensure you continue to enjoy the medical comfort you receive after having an artificial disc replace the damaged cervical disc. These services are available for anyone in Beverly Hills, California. For more information on what cervical artificial disc surgery entails, call us today at 424-777-7463.