Artificial Disc Replacement
Artificial disc replacement is a surgical procedure that replaces an intervertebral disc in the lumbar (lower back) or cervical (neck) regions with a synthetic disc made of biomimetic plastics and metals that replicates natural function of the spine for improved joint function and reduced pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots.
This is a modern procedure that is being turned to as an alternative to traditional spinal fusion surgery, where the damaged disc is replaced with bone and two vertebrae are fused together for additional stability. While this may address inflammation and lack of stability that was contributing to pain, this method may limit flexibility and subsequently transfer pressure to other vertebrae. Spinal fusion also requires a lengthy recovery time for the bone graft to solidify. With artificial disc replacement, motion is gradually encouraged and included as part of the recovery process in order to regain a full range of motion. Having a full range of motion can sometimes be taken for granted by people not affected by spine conditions but is a large factor in quality of life. The prefect procedure results in an outcome equal to or better then what you were experiencing before. Artificial disk replacement makes strides to that end.
Artificial disc replacement is usually not considered as a treatment option until alternative treatments such as injections, physical therapy and chiropractic have been tried for at least 6 months.
This method of treating degenerative disc disease is newer and has been in practice for the last decade whereas spinal fusion has longer term clinical studies on the efficacy of spinal fusion addressing lower back pain. At Hunt Spine, we can deliver the correct procedure for your situation, whatever it may be. We actively keep informed of and trained in any advances in the treatment of spinal conditions. Dr. Leonel Hunt is one of the top researchers in this field, his findings have been presented at numerous national and international conferences as well as peer review publications.
If you have tried non-surgical methods of treatment such as, chiropractic, physical therapy and spinal injections to no or minimal success, you may be a good candidate for artificial disk replacement. Other factors considered in candidacy are:
- are considered to have one or two degenerated discs as the source of their pain
- are not overweight
- have had no prior back surgeries
- do not have spinal deformities such as scoliosis
- do not have significant bony compression or joint disease
Advantages of Artificial Disk Replacement are:
- Maintaining normal neck motion
- Reducing degeneration of adjacent parts of the spine
- Eliminating the need for a bone graft
- Faster recovery of neck motion
- Faster return to normal activity
Schedule an appointment with our spine surgeons at Hunt Spine today to discuss your specific back pain and whether or not you would be a good candidate for artificial disc replacement. Every individual is different, has specific needs and a personalized treatment. At Hunt Spine we take the time needed to get to know you and your situation so we can plan out the correct treatment for the optimum result. It is important that you fully understand you condition, its ramifications and treatment options so you can make an educated decision, we will work towards this end in your comprehensive, one-on-one consultation.
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