Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Neck FAQ


How do they keep the new artificial discs in place once they're inserted into the spine? Are they stitched, screwed, nailed, or what?


Many of the new artificial disc replacements (ADRs) have an internal constraint mechanism to limit their motion. The manufacturer-suggested limit is two millimeters of motion. That's a very slight amount. Just enough to allow the ADR to go with the flow of motion and not create a blockage or rigid stop.

Some ADRs have what look like teeth on the part that goes next to the bone. This helps anchor the implant in place. The bone grows in and around each spike to give it the strength it needs to keep from tilting or pushing one way or the other.

Even with these mechanisms there are times that the ADRs shift, tilt, or sink into the bone. Manufacturers are continuing to look for ways to improve the current devices.

Lali H. S. Sekhon, MD, PhD, FRACS, et al. Cervical Arthroplasty After Previous Surgery: Results of Treating 24 Discs in 15 Patients. In Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. November 2005. Vol. 3. No. 5. Pp. 335-341.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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