There are a number of important factors in considering cervical disc replacement versus a traditional anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) surgery. A patient may be most suitable for either cervical disc replacement or ACDF as a result of his or her symptoms or amount of disc degeneration. The options for each individual patient are best discussed with the treating physician.
Whether or not a cervical disc replacement is appropriate may depend on how much disc degeneration is present.
It is important to remember that a disc replacement is a motion-preservation procedure and not a motion-creation procedure. This means that a discectomy does not increase range of motion. Following discectomy, even though an artificial disc has been inserted, an ankylosed or severely spondylotic disc that did not move before disc replacement is not likely to move after disc replacement.