An Artificial Disc Replacement Procedure Helps Back Pain While Preserving Normal Spine Movement

Living with chronic back pain can make your life harder than it needs to be. Your doctor will probably try a number of treatments, and some of those may manage your pain effectively. If they don't, your doctor might consider surgery. One type of surgery that's done for back pain is an artificial disc replacement. 

This can only be done if the source of your pain is a deteriorated disc, and you only have one or two discs that are affected. Plus, you may need other qualifications, such as no previous surgery and not being obese. Your doctor can determine if this surgery is right for you. Here's how an artificial disc replacement procedure is done.

You'll Need A Hospital Stay

Depending on your health and how well you rebound from surgery and general anesthesia, you could stay one or more days in the hospital. Your doctor will probably want you to get up and start moving as soon as possible without overdoing it, so you may start physical therapy while you're still in the hospital.

The Surgery Replaces A Degenerated Disc

The artificial disc replacement procedure removes the degenerated disc that's causing your back pain and replaces it with an artificial disc. The disc might be made from plastic or plastic and metal. The surgery might require an open incision or it could be minimally invasive, depending on what's best for you.

The surgeon may work through your abdomen area so your organs and tissues can be moved aside without disturbing your nerves. The surgeon can then reach your bad disc to replace it. After that, your organs are allowed to move back into place without the need for cutting or stitches.

The surgery might take a few hours depending on the amount of work you need to have done. You'll have general anesthesia, so you won't know what's going on until the anesthesia wears off in the recovery room.

The Surgery Preserves Spinal Movement

One of the main benefits of having an artificial disc replacement over a spinal fusion is that a disc replacement preserves your normal ability to bend and twist your spine. This helps you to move normally, and it can also prevent further damage to your spine.

A spinal fusion bonds vertebrae together so normal movement is lost. This can put strain on the vertebrae above and below the fusion and result in back pain in new locations. Sometimes a fusion is the right type of surgery, but other times, an artificial disc replacement procedure is a good option as long as your doctor has determined you're a good candidate for the surgery.

Contact your doctor to learn more about artificial disc replacement surgery