Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease
How many times a day do you move your neck? With all the twisting, tilting and turning a person does in just one hour, it would be difficult to keep track. That’s also why it’s not a huge shock that two-thirds of people will suffer from neck pain at some point in their lives.
In many cases the pain is temporary—you slept wrong or pulled a muscle. However, long-term, chronic neck pain could be the result of cervical degenerative disc disease.
Cervical degenerative disc disease affects the discs between vertebrae (the bones in the spine) that are located in the neck. These discs act like shock absorbers, or stabilizers and allow the neck to twist and move smoothly side-to-side and forward and back. When discs become worn, the space between vertebrae narrows and spinal nerves can become pinched, causing pain and stiffness. The discs can also herniate—break open or bulge out—which puts extra pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.
In addition to symptoms that are felt in the neck, herniated discs and degenerative disc disease can cause pain and numbness in the shoulders, arms and hands.
Treatment for cervical disc disease typically begins with over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications. Physical therapy can also be an effective solution to reduce pain and maintain range of motion.
In more severe cases, surgery is also an option. Traditionally, orthopedic surgeons would need to remove the worn disc, insert a bone spacer and then fuse the surrounding vertebrae together for stability. This would relieve pressure and pain, but would also result in loss
However, at Reedsburg Area Medical Center, Dr. Kevin Weber, orthopedic surgeon, offers an innovative disc replacement procedure using a disc implant called the Mobi-C® device.
“The Mobi-C device is designed to react to the normal movements of the cervical spine, allowing patients to maintain more natural range of motion in the neck,” Dr. Weber says. “It also reduces the stress between the implant and bone, which can help prevent further disc degeneration.”
The device, the first and only cervical disc replacement FDA approved for both one and two-level applications, was the subject of a rigorous FDA trial. In this study, the two-level cervical disc replacement procedure demonstrated an overall study success rate of 69.7% as compared to traditional cervical fusion results of 37.4%. As always, we recommend contacting your insurance to determine coverage.
Neck pain can be an unavoidable fact of life. Luckily, there are treatments and procedures that can have patients pain free and turning heads again. So don’t let a pain in the neck get the best of you. Consider asking your provider what options are best for you.
To make an appointment with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kevin Weber, call (608) 768-3900.