Before artificial discs were approved for use, most often a patient would get an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). In this fusion surgery, the doctor removes the unhealthy disc. The empty disc space is filled with a bone spacer or plastic implant. The implant helps match the disc height to the levels above and below. Restoring the disc height can help remove pressure on the nerves and/or spinal cord. Then, a metal plate with screws is placed on the front of the neck. However, studies have shown cervical disc replacement to have benefits over fusion.
The plate helps:
- Keep the spacer in place.
- Stop movement at that level. This helps new bone grow between the vertebrae (fusion).
Cervical Disc Replacement with Mobi-C
In a surgery with the Mobi-C Cervical Disc, the unhealthy disc is removed, but instead of a bone spacer or plastic implant along with a plate and screws, a Mobi-C is implanted into the disc space. Where a fusion procedure is intended to eliminate motion at the surgery levels, the goal of a surgery with Mobi-C is to allow motion at those levels.
Both fusion and Mobi-C artificial disc surgery:
- Replace the damaged disc.
- Try to match a healthy disc height to help un-trap any nerves.
Only the Mobi-C implant:
- Tries to maintain neck movement.
- Fits entirely within the disc space.