Tom Willemann Health Tips

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Artificial Cervical Disc: An Alternative to Spinal Fusion

Being in the rehabilitation space and seeing many athletes with different types of injuries over the years, we tend to see a lot of back pain or spinal issues as a result of sports injuries or even accidents.

Sometimes there are issues with the cervical discs that run along the spine.  Sometimes there are issues with the cervical discs that run along the spine.. These cervical discs are like shock absorbers in your car.  They sit between your cervical vertebrae and  allow your neck to move in multiple directions freely.

If there has been any damage to your discs due to injury or deterioration, it might become necessary to surgically install an artificial cervical disc between two of your cervical vertebrae which will ultimately allow you to maintain range of motion.   Most often, medical professionals will recommend nonsurgical treatment like physical therapy before actually doing a surgical procedure.

If this describes you and you live in Northern New Jersey, please consider Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation.  We are a local Wyckoff physical therapy center that has been providing care and rehabilitation services to the local area for over 13 years.

So what happens when one of your cervical discs stops working properly, one of your vertebrae will actually slip into the one that sits below it.   This actually causes additional compression and possible pain around your spinal cord.

It might be a good consideration to have an artificial cervical disc installed to help maintain proper neck range of motion, ensure there is less chance for degeneration of other vertebrae, and reduce any need to have a bone graft procedure completed.   This procedure actually helps to improve your recovery time and restore your neck motion significantly faster than other methods utilized.

If you go this direction, you should know that any post surgical physical therapy sessions that are recommended by your doctor will typically last around six weeks.   You will be doing stretching exercises that will help to condition your body strengthening your muscles and stretch out any areas that might have atrophied.

Resistance training is also a fundamental part to a good physical therapy session and you will experience lifting movements, exercise on a bicycle, using a stairmaster, weight machines or others but know that you will avoid doing any sit-ups until medically cleared.

At the end of the day, your physician will determine if you are a good candidate to have an artificial cervical disc installed.  If so and you require any physical therapy rehabilitation, please consider giving us a call and schedule your free assessment when the time is right.

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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