The cervical-ADR is inserted from a front side (anterior) of the spine (incision in the neck). It is implanted at the diseased level after the symptomatic disc has been completely removed (total discectomy). The discectomy and removal of bone spurs will decompress the nerves and spinal cord. The implanted cervical-ADR maintains the joint space height and preserves motion.
Through an anterior approach, Dr. K reaches the cervical spine through a small incision in the front of the neck, usually within a skin fold line under the chin. After retracting neck muscles, Dr. K uses an operating microscope and removes the affected intervertebral disk, which takes the pressure off the nerves or spinal cord. This is called decompression. He then replaces it with a bone graft that will fuse the vertebrae together over time.
Similar to cervical fusion, lumbar fusion involves the stabilization of two or more vertebrae by locking them together or fusing them. Fusing the bones together stabilizes and aligns the spine, restores the normal disc space between the bones, and prevents further damage to the spinal nerves and cord.
Microdiscectomies can be performed using 4 main techniques:
- Open: Dr. K makes a relatively large incision, including cutting some of your back muscles, so that he can see your spine. He then removes the part of the disc causing pressure on the affected nerve.
- Mini-open: This is similar to an open discectomy, but Dr. K uses advanced technology to view your spine through smaller incisions.
- Tubular: Dr. K inserts a tube through a small incision. This tube is gently pushed through your back muscles until it reaches your spine, and then a series of expanding tubes are inserted, one around the other. These tubes gradually open up the area where the surgery will be done. Dr. K then uses specially-designed instruments to remove part of your disc through this tube.
- Endoscopic: This involves inserting a tiny video camera through a tube to enable Dr. K to see your spine and remove disc material with miniaturized instruments.
During the procedure, Dr. K will make an incision directly over the affected vertebra. Muscles around the section will be spread apart and Dr. K will then remove the bony arch of the posterior part of the vertebra to ease pressure on the nerves in the area. This may involve removing bone spurs or growth, or removing all or part of a disk.
Spinal Cord Stimulators
These stimulators consist of thin wires and a small, pacemaker-like battery pack (generator). The wires are placed between the spinal cord and the vertebrae, and the generator is placed under the skin, usually near the buttocks or abdomen. Spinal cord stimulators allow patients to send the electrical impulses using a remote control when they feel pain. Both the remote control and its antenna are outside the body.