I'm thinking about having a disc implant for my neck at the C5-6 level. What can I expect after surgery?

The artificial disc replacement (ADR) is still fairly new. Its use in the lumbar spine has been tested and reported on. Early studies on its use for the cervical spine (neck)are more limited.

There was a recent study from Yale University with a small number of patients (16). Results showed improved function, reduced pain, and less use of pain drugs in the first three weeks. Range of motion increased between three weeks post-operative and one year later. X-rays also showed increased disc height and motion.

The authors of the study noted the absence of any significant problems or complications. This was true during the operation and afterwards for the device used and the type of surgical technique used.

Short-term results look promising but long-term outcomes are equally important.