Replacement Disc Surgery

Posterior Cervical Fusion & Alterations

Cervical Disc Replacement

Cervical disc replacement surgery in Orange County replaces damaged discs with medical-grade artificial discs. The new discs are designed to absorb shock and cushion your vertebrae.

Cervical disc replacement surgery is similar to other spinal surgeries. Dr. Lin will make the incision at the front of your neck and operate in between muscles. Once the diseased disc is removed, he will replace it with an artificial disc.

Compared to spinal fusion, disc replacement allows more range of motion. Your vertebrae do not fuse together, so it is easier to move and bend in those areas. There is less stiffness, and your spine retains the support it needs. When your vertebrae are fused together, it puts more stress on the remaining vertebral segments which may lead to recurrence of your symptoms.

The recovery time of disc replacement is shorter than many other spinal surgeries. Your vertebrae do not have to fuse, so your spine heals quickly. You can return to normal activities with your typical range of motion after the healing process is complete. Dr. Lin specializes in cervical surgical procedures with locations in Tustin, Fountain Valley and Anaheim.

Posterior Cervical Alterations

Posterior cervical laminectomy surgery removes a portion of your spinal canal. When you suffer from inflammation and spinal problems, your spinal canal can become too narrow. This puts pressure on your spinal nerves. A laminectomy opens part of the spinal canal to relieve the pressure.

Spinal stenosis is the primary condition that leads to the need for this surgery. Spinal stenosis means “narrowing of the spine.” Degenerative diseases of the spine and neck can cause your spinal canal to harden and narrow. This then leads to pressure buildup on the spinal cord

Think of the lamina as the “capsule” for your spinal cord. It covers and protects your spinal cord. It can become harmful when degenerative disease takes hold of your spine. A laminectomy allows more space for your spinal cord, vertebrae, and surrounding joints.

Dr. Lin will image your spinal cord to determine which vertebral segments are causing the issue. It is important to note where the pressure is coming from so the proper sections of lamina can be removed.

Dr. Lin will perform a cervical laminectomy to restore some function to your nervous system. While no surgery is a guarantee, Dr. Lin specializes in cervical spine surgery. He can restore the function of your spinal cord, reduce numbness and/or tingling, and strengthen your ability to move in most cases.

Posterior cervical laminoplasty is an alternative procedure. Instead of removing part of the lamina to relieve pressure on spinal nerves, Dr. Lin rearranges the bone.

Dr. Lin would make a flap-like hinge on the lamina to create more room for the spine. Then, Dr. Lin places a wedge of bone in the open gap to protect that space. This reduces nerve pain and spinal damage and relieves the pressure caused by spinal stenosis.

Laminoplasty keeps the structural support in your spinal canal. Some patients may benefit from laminoplasty as an alternative to a cervical laminectomy.

Posterior Cervical Fusion

Posterior cervical fusion is usually used to supplement cervical laminectomy. The goal of this procedure is to stabilize and maintain the alignment of your spine and prevent post laminectomy kyphosis or reversing of the normal lordotic cervical alignment which may lead to “chin on chest deformity.” Posterior cervical fusion is also often used to manage injuries which have disrupted the overall stability of the spine.

Posterior cervical fusions utilize metal screws placed into the back of each vertebra which will later be locked into titanium rods on each side of the spine which will hold the segments steady and allow bony ingrowth into the joints of the spine. During this healing process, the bones grow together naturally to form one structure. This reinforces your spine to protect it from injury and deformity.

Your motion will be limited during the healing process to protect your spine. After you are done healing, you will be able to move more freely with less pain. Give us a call to schedule a consultation with Rich Lin, D.O. in Tustin, Fountain Valley or Anaheim.

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