When painful, chronic spine disorders, most of all those that involve the degenerative disc illness, have been discovered to respond poorly to the non-surgical treatments such as injections, physical therapies, and the anti-inflammatory injections, you can consider surgery. The spinal infusion surgery, traditionally, was performed for this function. However, new materials and techniques have made the synthetic disc replacement surgeries a better alternative surgery that has grown in popularity.
What is an artificial disc?
An artificial disc can be referred to as a spine arthroplasty device or a disc prosthesis. This is an artificially made device that is surgically placed into the human spine to function as an intervertebral disc. There are two options when you think about artificial disc replacement.
1. Disc nucleus replacement: Only the jelly-like, soft material in the disk center is replaced and removed.
2. Total disc replacement: most or all of the disc tissues are often replaced with artificial materials.
Artificial discs are mostly made of plastic or metal materials.
The time when artificial disc replacement is necessary
The artificial disc replacement surgery is often used to treat the following:
- Post-discectomy syndrome: This is a problem that mostly occurs pain advances following a past surgery to remove the herniated disc (it is also called the ruptured or slipped disc)
- The degenerative disc disease: This is a disease that develops when the intervertebral discs( the gel-like, soft cushions between the vertebrate that helps keep the vertebrae bones away from rubbing each other and absorb pressure between them) lose elasticity, shock-absorbing, and their elasticity characteristics. The outside covering of the disc is tough. However, I can grow easy to tear apart. The soft center of this disc starts shrinking and drying out.
- Traumatic vertebrae injury
While this surgery is very helpful, not everyone is a better candidate for this artificial disc replacement surgery. People whose bones are not strong due to the age factor, those who have certain bone diseases, those with a history of the vertebrae slipping, and those suffering from osteoporosis are not better candidates for this surgery. Certain conditions can also prevent the use of an artificial disc. The surgeon will evaluate the candidate to determine their eligibility for the surgery and discuss possible risks and complications.
Advantages and disadvantages of the artificial disc replacement surgery
Using the artificial disc instead of using spinal infusion has numerous advantages that include:
- A quicker time of recovery after the surgery
- Reduced disc degenerative damage of the discs below and above the area fused.
- Better flexibility and long-term motion following the surgery
The events that occur during and after the surgery
Unlike the traditional lower spine surgeries on the back, most surgeries for the lower back disc are done through the abdomen incision. After the incision is made, the surgeon will remove the injured disc and replaces it with the on one that is referred to as the artificial disc.
Recovery after the surgery is often similar to those that involve the spine. Most of the patients who undertake this surgery spend several days in hospital followed by the physical therapies when patients rebuild functioning and strength in the back.
If you are suffering from severe back pain, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Jeffrey M. Epstein to schedule a free consultation session and commence your journey towards permanent relief.