Disc Arthroplasty / Artificial Cervical Disc

In some cases of spine damage, the best solution is an artificial cervical disc replacement (disc arthroplasty).


This surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. It involves replacing a problem disc with a prosthetic device designed to act in the same way as a natural joint. The surgery is conducted through a small incision at the front of the neck. Specialised instruments are used to insert the artificial disc.


Your neck will most likely feel stiff or sore and you may find it hard to sit still for long periods. It might be difficult to lift and bend without straining your neck and back and causing pain. Pain medication will usually be prescribed.

Recovery differs between patients and surgeries.  As a general guide the following are consistent with all cervical surgeries:

  • Three to five days in hospital
  • No heavy lifting for the first few weeks or so (and graduated lifting restrictions thereafter)
  • Some time off work in order to recover
  • You may need to return to work on restricted duties for a period of time
  • You may not be able to drive for 4 to 6 weeks
  • No swimming for 4 to 6 weeks
  • Physiotherapy
  • Pain medication
  • Rehabilitation depending on the surgery


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