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In order to treat intervertebral disc herniations or degenerative disc disease, discectomy (removal of the disc) is often necessary to treat the resulting pain and/or neurologic symptoms that are being caused by the diseased or injured disc. As the name implies, an artificial disc prosthesis is designed in such a way that it imitates normal anatomy. Dr. Stieber has over a decade of experience in performing his New York disc replacement surgery, so you can be assured you are in good hands.

Disc Replacement

Intervertebral discs have three important functions:

Absorb Shock

The disc has cushioning properties that help make it possible for the spinal column to compress and rebound during vigorous activity.

Maintain Space Between Vertebrae

Discs not only prevent bone from grinding against bone, but also maintain the normal healthy physiologic distance between vertebrae so that nerve roots can exit from spinal canal freely and without compression or irritation.

Permit Motion

The spine would be a rigid column of vertebrae without the motion of the intervertebral discs. Intervertebral discs give flexibility to the spine, which allows for a full range of motion e.g., forward and backward, side-to-side.

The Procedure

During both disc replacement surgery and spinal fusion, the pain-generating disc is removed and the intervertebral disc height is restored. For those patients who undergo spinal fusion surgery, the spinal segment is then stabilized with an implant and plate and/or rods and screws. Bone graft is commonly used to promote fusion of the bones. For those patients who undergo disc replacement, a specialized prosthetic device is implanted between vertebrae that allows for potential motion. Since no two patients are the same, our NYC disc replacement surgical plan and procedure will be explained in great detail during consultation.

Disc Replacement

An artificial disc usually replaces the annulus fibrosus, nucleus pulposus, and the endplates, depending on the type of device. The cervical (neck) or lumbar (lower back) are most commonly treated with disc replacement surgery. During the procedure Dr. Stieber will move through the front of the neck for cervical discs and through the abdomen for lumbar discs.

Dr. Stieber is the author of multiple book chapters on disc replacement surgery and has presented his research on disc replacement surgery for both the cervical and lumbar spine. Learn why he delivers one of the top disc replacements New York has to offer.

Case Study: C5-6 Extruded Disc Herniation resulting in: Left-Sided C6 Radiculopathy

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WARNING — Video Contains Graphic Material


The potential benefits of disc replacement include:

  • Elimination of the degenerated or herniated disc as a pain generator
  • Restoration of intervertebral disc height
  • Decompression of neural structures
  • Motion preservation
  • Slowing degeneration of the discs above and below the affected disc
  • Relatively swift return to normal activity
  • Surgery can usually be performed as an outpatient / same-day surgery (cervical)
Disc Replacement

What is the
Expected Recovery Time?

Cervical Disc replacement in NYC is commonly performed as an outpatient procedure. Lumbar Disc replacement in NYC requires a hospital stay of one to three days. During your stay, physical therapists and occupational therapists will help you learn how to walk and get in and out of bed safely. You will need to avoid bending at the waist, lifting more than five pounds, and twisting for the first two to four weeks.

Most patients are able to return to desk work within two to three weeks, depending on the progress of healing. However, you will be advised to wait about three months before resuming light physical activity. Patients should avoid heavy lifting, strenuous physical activity, and impact sports moving forward after having undergone disc replacement.

Types of Disc Replacements


For patients who require a total cervical disc replacement and who qualify, Prodisc-C is an advanced option that has several key benefits over other TDR and spinal fusion procedures. It has been performed over 125,000 times with less than 1% re-surgery outcomes. Prodisc-C is specifically designed to be a very straightforward procedure that does not require bone grafts, fusion or additional hardware other than the device itself.

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Mobi-C Cervical Disc

The Mobi-C cervical disc is one of the most widely used cervical discs in the world. Mobi-C allows its polyethylene core to slide and rotate inside the disc for self-adjustment to spine movements and provides bone sparing fixation without it cutting into the vertebral bodies of the spine.

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Medtronic Prestige LP

Typically addressed with spinal fusion, Medtronic Prestige LP cervical disc system preserves mobility and allows for the motion of a natural disc, including flexion, extension, side bending and rotating.

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M6-C Artificial Cervical Disc

One of the newest artificial cervical disc designs, the M6-C artificial cervical disc device is an innovative option for patients diagnosed with Cervical Disc Herniation, Cervical Disc Degeneration, or Degenerative Disc Disease.

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