Neck pain is one of the most common health issues, but neck pain can keep you from living your daily life when it gets severe enough. A cervical injury or illness can create a range of issues, from migraines to loss of mobility. One of the most common areas of neck pain involves the C6 spinal disc, which can be significantly affected by poor posture, injuries and other trauma.
There is also a genetic element to issues with the C6 disc; If you have family who suffers from herniated, bulging, or degenerative discs, you could be predisposed to spine pain. If you are suffering from neck pain, you are not alone—one in two people will experience neck pain over their lifespans.
Cervical disc replacement is one of the most advanced and successful treatments for neck pain and, for more severe cases, the M6-C artificial disc replacement offers an alternative to more invasive surgeries.
What is an M6-C Artificial Disc Replacement?
There are seven vertebrae in your cervical spine, which are all responsible for different actions within the upper body. The discs act like cushions that separate and protect the vertebrae, allowing you to move freely. The C6 vertebrae work alongside other cervical vertebrae to control deep tendon reflexes in arm muscles and extension and flexion in the elbow and wrist.
If your C6 disc is injured or diseased, this means you can suffer from a variety of debilitating symptoms, including but not limited to:
- Numbness, burning or tingling in the arms
- Neck pain that extends to the shoulder, arm or fingers
- Increased pain when bending or turning the neck
- Weakness in the upper extremities
- Vision problems
Surgery to replace the disc causing these symptoms may be the best option when more conservative treatment methods are unsuccessful.
During a disc replacement, the surgeon will make an incision smaller than a postage stamp on the front or side of the neck after a patient has been given anesthesia. They will then remove the damaged or diseased disc and place an artificial disc into the space. Most patients are discharged the same day or the day after surgery.
This revolutionary method is a promising alternative to other techniques, such as spinal fusion, due to the following aspects:
- Less bleeding and inflammation
- Less stress on other vertebrae
- Increased mobility
- Faster recovery
- Lower risk of infection
Patients undergoing an M6-C artificial disc replacement surgery can return to work in as little as one week. Studies have also found that patients with an M6-C disc replacement retain more normal neck mobility.
How Does the M6-C Artificial Disc Replacement Reduce Pain?
The M6-C is truly cutting-edge technology. Unlike other more invasive procedures, an artificial disc replacement reserves muscle function. Due to the small incision size, the surgeon does not have to move as much muscle to reach the affected area.
The M6-C also acts as an internal brace, so an external brace is unnecessary, although most patients find that it improves their pain for up to two weeks directly following surgery. This is because the M6-C artificial disc closely mimics natural discs to reserve mobility and alleviate the stress of surrounding vertebrae.
What Exactly is an M6-C Artificial Disc?
The M6-C Artificial Disc was developed by Spinal Kinetics. In 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the M6-C for patients suffering from cervical spine issues, noting in its study that over 90% of patients who underwent M6-C artificial disc replacement saw clinically proven improvements in their condition.
The disc is made out of several complex parts, and it is the only artificial disc that replicates the movement and function of natural discs. The build allows it to act as a shock absorber in the same way a native disc would, and it can also move in all six degrees of freedom while minimizing tissue ingrowth and wear on the device.
When should I Seek an M6-C Replacement for Cervical Spine Pain?
Patients 18 years and older who have exhausted all non-surgical treatments, such as physical therapy and over-the-counter pain medication, and still have the symptoms of a c6 disc issue should consider a disc replacement. In addition, if your doctor has already diagnosed you with cervical disc damage or degenerative disease, or your condition is worsening, an M6-C artificial disc replacement may be the option that gets you back to living life on your terms.
Where Can I Go to Stop My Neck Pain?
NJ Spine and Orthopedics has an award-winning team of spine surgeons, neurologists, specialists, physicians, and medical staff that offer the latest pain management treatments at several offices across New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
NJSO is an early adopter of the M6-C artificial disc replacement and is dedicated to delivering minimally invasive spine surgeries using technology at the forefront of medical advancement. The NJ Spine and Orthopedic doctors have a 98% success rate and have been recognized as national leaders in cervical disc replacements.
NJSO’s Dr. Scott Katzman is an internationally recognized orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive disc replacement and fusion procedures. His groundbreaking technique is so minimally invasive patients often can undergo surgery in an outpatient center.
NJ Spine and Orthopedics is a patient-centered practice that utilizes the most advanced technology to ensure the best possible outcome for every person that enters their care. Schedule an appointment at any NJSO office across New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Pennsylvania today and take your first step toward a pain-free future.