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Your cervical spine is the seven bones (vertebrae) stacked on top of each other in your neck. Between these bones are discs that cushion your neck and allow it to move freely.

What happens during cervical disc replacement?

Cervical disc replacement is usually performed under general anaesthetic. The procedure can take several hours. Your surgeon will make an incision (cut) in the side or front of your neck. They will carefully access the disc to be replaced and remove it. A surgical implant will be inserted to replace the diseased disc. Your incision will be closed with stitches and a small dressing will cover your wound. You may need to wear a neck collar.

After cervical disc replacement

Immediately after your surgery you will be taken to the recovery area. Staff will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. If you are in any pain be sure and tell the recovery room staff. When you are stable, a nurse will take you to your room.

Once you are back in your room, our nursing team will continue to check on you to make sure you are recovering well. After you’ve recovered from any effects of the anaesthetic, you can have something to eat and drink. Be sure and tell us if you are in any pain.

Within a few hours we will help you get out of bed and begin moving around on your own. You may need to spend 1-2 nights in hospital.

Before you leave hospital a physiotherapist will show you how to go about your daily routine without putting any stress on your neck. There may be restrictions on bending or lifting.


Going home after cervical disc replacement

You will not be able to drive until released to do so by your consultant. Please arrange for someone to drive you home after discharge.

Your consultant will advise you on what activities you can do. Follow any restrictions given to you by the physiotherapist. Continue to take any pain medication as prescribed.

Wear your neck collar as instructed. Keep your surgical wound clean and dry.

You may be referred to physiotherapy to help you slowly increase your activity level. Discuss any return to work with your consultant.

Most people make a good recovery from cervical disc replacement.  As with any procedure there can be complications:
Specific complications of cervical disc replacement may include:
  • Nerve damage
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarse voice
  • Continued symptoms
  • Spinal injury (rare).
Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment

Shenfield Road
Brentwood
CM15 8EH

01277 695695

Warren Road
Brighton
BN2 6DX

01273 624488

3 Clifton Hill
Clifton
Bristol
BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870

4 Trumpington Road
Cambridge
CB2 8AF

01223 303336

Cardiff Bay Hospital
Dunleavey Drive
Cardiff
CF11 0SN

02920 836700

Hatherley Lane
Cheltenham
GL51 6SY

01242 246552

Wrexham Road
Chester
CH4 7QP

01244 680 444

25 Beaconsfield Road
Glasgow
G12 0PJ

01413349441

Burrell Road
Haywards Heath
RH16 1UD

01444 456999

Venns Lane
Hereford
HR1 1DF

01432 355 131

2 Leighton Street
Leeds
LS1 3EB

01133 882 067

Clayton Road
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
NE2 1JP

0191 281 6131

Clayton Road
Newcastle-under-Lyme
ST5 4DB

01782 625431

Beech Road
Headington
Oxford
OX3 7RP

01865 307777

Derriford Road
Plymouth
PL6 8BG

01752 775861

Staplegrove Elm
Taunton
TA2 6AN

01823 286991

Junction Road
Norton
Stockton on Tees
TS20 1PX

01642 367439

The Chase
Old Milverton Lane
Leamington Spa
CV32 6RW

01926 436351

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