Although Total Disc Replacements (TDR) can be done on any portion of the spine, the most common portion of the spine to see this procedure is the cervical spine.

Any of the above conditions can cause loss of feeling, loss of movement, pain, weakness or tingling down the arm and possibly into the hands.

 WATCH: Northshore spine surgeon, Dr. Samer Shamieh, explains a cervical disc replacement procedure.

Best Candidates for a Cervical TDR

Northshore surgeons, Dr. K. Samer Shamieh and Dr. Jeremy James, are conservative, minimally invasive spine surgeons. At DISC of Louisiana we will work with you to treat a vertebral compression fracture non-surgically first. When conservative treatment fails, a surgeon may recommend a cervical disc replacement surgery for adults between 21 and 67 years old who have either one or two damaged cervical discs next to each other, weakness in their arms, or symptoms that affect daily activities. These symptoms don’t always mean DISC surgeons will recommend a TDR. Dr. Shamieh and Dr. James will consider your medical history and other factors to determine the best course of treatment.

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The Procedure


A one to two-inch incision is made on the front of the neck.


The muscles and structures of the neck are carefully moved to the side to allow the surgeon to access the cervical spine.


The affected disc(s) is removed.


The artificial disc is placed in the empty disc space.


Sutures are used to close the wound carefully to minimize scarring.

Benefits of Cervical TDR

The other surgical treatment of the cervical spine would be a spine fusion. In a fusion, the affected disc is removed and an implant with bone graft is put in its place to help the vertebrae fuse together. In a disc replacement procedure, an artificial disc is put in the place of the damaged disc. The artificial disc creates less stress on the remaining vertebrae and helps the spine maintain a more natural range of motion. The recovery time is also shorter, only three to four weeks out of work!


Learn More about our Minimally Invasive Techniques

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DISC of Louisiana offers spinal procedures using minimally invasive techniques. It means smaller incisions, sometimes less than an inch, that is often covered with a band-aid. The minimally invasive spine surgeon inserts special surgical instruments through the tiny incisions to access the damaged disc. Unlike traditional “open” spine surgery, entry and repair to the damaged disc or vertebrae is achieved without harming nearby muscles and tissues. Less muscle and tissue damage results in less pain and a faster recovery. Click here to learn more.


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