There are many different treatments for neck pain. Surgeons look at the cause of the pain, where it is located, the degree of damage, and more, and ultimately decide on the treatment they believe will work best. For several conditions – most notably severe disc herniation – the treatment of choice may be an artificial disc replacement or ADR.
Artificial disc replacement can be an effective way to address chronic pain caused by nerve compression. But it can also fail. Many patients that have undergone ADR have their pain return after the surgery is over, and while the cause of the pain may be different, if neck pain comes back, you may have failed back surgery syndrome from an artificial disc in the neck.
Why Can Artificial Discs In The Cervical Spine Fail?
Cervical artificial discs replacements are often effective. But failed artificial discs are not necessarily rare. That is because there are many potential problems that may arise with this surgery, especially if it was performed incorrectly. Possible causes of artificial disc failure include:
- Bone Fracture – One of the possible causes of cervical artificial disc failure is a bone fracture. For some, the bone in the cervical spine is weak or soft, and when not correctly accounted for, the artificial disc may cause bone damage.
- Device Failure – Not all artificial discs are created equal. It’s possible that the disc your surgeon chose was not made correctly, was not the right choice for your neck, or otherwise had some mechanical issue once inside of your body.
- Disc Erosion – When an artificial disc is installed into bone, it relies on the bone maintaining its shape and structure. In some cases, the bone may erode, which causes misalignment within the cervical vertebrae.
- Misdiagnosis – Not everyone is a candidate for an artificial disc, even if they struggle with disc compression. Many surgeons will still perform artificial disc replacement, without diagnosing that they are not necessarily the right candidate.
- Improper Surgical Installation – Alignment is critical with the installation of an artificial disc. A failed artificial disc in the neck and cervical spine is more likely if the surgeon did not successfully install the disc in a perfectly aligned way.
These are only a few of the possible causes of failed ADR. It is important to see a failed neck surgery specialist determine what the exact cause of failure may be.
Treatment For Failed ADR
For those that have a failed cervical artificial disc, there is some good news, as revision surgeries have a high success rate, and there are several non-surgical interventions that may be possible depending on the cause of the failure.
Spine Center Atlanta is based in Atlanta but serves clients across the country. Dr. Chappuis is considered a nationally recognized expert, and his staff is filled with some of the most skilled surgeons on the East Coast. If you believe you may be struggling with failed neck surgery, please call us today at 404-351-5812.