The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Prosthetic intervertebral disc replacement in the cervical spine.

It replaces the previous guidance on Prosthetic intervertebral disc replacement in the cervical spine (NICE interventional procedures guidance 143, November 2005).  

Description

A number of devices have been developed for the cervical spine. Under general anaesthetic the patient is placed in the supine position. The anterior cervical spine is exposed, and after standard decompression of the neural elements, an artificial disc prosthesis is placed between the vertebrae.

This procedure can be used for patients with acute disc herniation or cervical spondylosis. In these conditions, nerve root or spinal cord compression may cause symptomatic radiculopathy or myelopathy.

Coding recommendations

V36.1 Prosthetic replacement of cervical intervertebral disc

V55.- Levels of spine

Note: Codes within category V55.-  are assigned in second place each time a spinal operation is coded: if the levels of spine are not specified, V55.9 Unspecified levels of spine is used.

Your responsibility

This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account. However, the guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.

Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

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