Paul W. McDonough, MD, performs surgeries of the spine as a member of Orthopaedic Associates of Abilene, Texas. In his free time, Dr. Paul McDonough enjoys reading about new spine surgery techniques that may help him to better treat his patients.
Traditionally, patients with pain caused by cervical degenerative disc disease have found their surgical treatments limited to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). This procedure enables the surgeon to remove the herniated disc and introduce a graft that joins the surrounding bones. It is generally successful in relieving pain, but it may limit the patient’s range of motion.
An artificial cervical disc replacement also involves the removal of the diseased disc. Unlike an ACDF procedure, however, this surgery places a specially designed device in the space where the removed disc was located.
The disc replacement device allows the patient to move his or her neck normally and often results in earlier cervical motion following surgery. It also reduces the degeneration of adjacent spinal segments that would have been involved in the fusion procedure, while removing any risks associated with bone grafting or related hardware.