What type of pain will patients have after cervical artificial disc surgery

Dr. Rick Sasso
Indianapolis, IN
Usually none, but they may have a little bit of disphagia, or sore throat.
Dr. Todd Bonvallet
Chattanooga, TN
Most patients post-operatively will experience some pain in the incision site and some mild complaints of swallowing that quickly resolves. Otherwise, patients complain of a mild amount of neck pain that typically is gone in approximately 2 weeks.
Dr. Praveen Mummaneni
San Francisco, CA
Incision pain, usually not severe. Some patients also experience mild neck muscle spasms.
Dr. Brett Taylor
St. Louis, MO
Patients will have some neck pain, they may have a sense of fullness in their neck and they may have some difficulties with swallowing or their voice. Other than that, it is a very well tolerated procedure frequently discharge can be from the hospital at 1 to 2 days.
Dr. Joseph Stachniak
Plano, TX
The pain after disc replacement surgery is similar to the pain after spinal fusion surgery. The patient may experience some soft tissue pain.
Dr. Todd Lanman
Los Angeles, CA
The pain after the surgery is relatively minimal. Patients have very little pain from the incision in the front of the neck. They usually describe it as a sore throat. They often have mild achy discomfort across the back of the neck and shoulder blades which usually resolves in one to two weeks. The pain levels are usually treated with mild analgesic medications, such as anti-inflammatories or a mild narcotic in the short term period.
Dr. Michael Neuwirth
New York, NY
In general, the pain should be quite minimal. Incisional pain is generally not an issue, because the incision is small. There is very little muscle cutting, but rather spreading, to approach the spine. Patients with anterior cervical fusions often had some mid-scapular pain due to distraction of the disc space. Because the cervical disc replacement is implanted with minimal distraction, this pain is often absent.
Dr. Richard Fessler
Chicago, IL
As with anterior cervical fusion surgery, this isn't a terribly painful surgery. There are several days of discomfort, but patients can usually be off pain medicine in 7 to 10 days.
Dr. Paul Broadstone
Chattanooga, TN
There would be surgical site pain along the front (anterior) of the neck as well as discomfort swallowing and using of the muscles along the front of the neck. Pre-operative nerve pain extending into the arms should resolve immediately or shortly after the procedure.
Dr. Vincent Traynelis
Iowa City, IA
These operations, as a rule, are not very painful and patients may get back up and active quickly without the need for large doses of strong narcotic medications.

The commentary above recounts the experiences of these physicians. Medtronic invited them to share their stories candidly. Keep in mind that results vary; not every patient's response is the same. Talk with your doctor to learn more about any products that are mentioned above.

It is important that you discuss the potential risks, complications and benefits of spinal surgery with your doctor prior to receiving treatment, and that you rely on your doctor's judgment. Only your doctor can determine whether you are a suitable candidate for this treatment.

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Published: May 04, 2007
Updated: April 19, 2010