How Should I Prepare For Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery – Westchester

Medically Reviewed by NJ Spine & Orthopedic on May 15, 2023
Lumbar or artificial disc replacement surgery is a surgery to replace a damaged disc in your spine. Now our spines are made up of connected vertebrae stacked on each other. Between each vertebra, there are discs that work like cushions that allow the vertebrae to rotate and move without rubbing on each other.
If you’re experiencing severe back pain and have been told you have a damaged lumbar disc, contact our Westchester office immediately to schedule an appointment.
During a lumbar disc replacement surgery, the worn-out or degenerated disc in the lower part of your spine is replaced with an artificial disc.
Artificial discs are made of metal or a combination of metal and plastic, so it mimics the original disc almost exactly. This is seen as a preferred alternative to spinal fusion surgery.

What Are the Risks of Lumbar Disc Replacement Surgery? – Westchester

Like all surgeries, there are some risks that come with this surgery. Lumbar disc replacement surgery requires significant access to the spine. This makes it riskier than normal.

Some of the potential risks of this surgery include:

  • Dislodging or dislocation of the artificial disc
  • Infection
  • Implant failure
  • Stenosis
  • Complications due to poorly placed implant
  • Stiffness and rigidity of the spine
  • Implant loosening or wear.

Depending on your specific medical condition, there could be other risks. Your doctor should explain these risks and give you a run-through of the procedure. Ask questions if you do not understand and disclose any concerns with your surgeon prior to the procedure.

How To Prepare for a Lumbar disc replacement surgery in Westchester

Along with your physical exam and medical history, your physician may recommend X-rays, MRIs, or a CT scan and blood test.

These tests are used to determine the exact nature of your condition and the extent of spinal damage. These tests also tell your physician whether or not you need disc replacement surgery.

Tell your doctor about all the prescriptions, supplements, herbs, or over-the-counter medications you are taking. Some of these drugs may affect blood clotting or healing during and after surgery. If need be, your doctors will recommend you stop certain medications.

You may be told not to eat or drink anything several hours before your disc replacement surgery. Before visiting the hospital, here are some things you should do to prepare yourself at home. These practices can reduce the likelihood of complications and improve recovery time. 

They are:

  • Purchase food or easy to prepare food before coming to the hospital
  • Place pans, plates, and other necessary utensils on high shelves to avoid bending
  • Arrange clothes and toiletries at convenient heights so you don’t bend
  • If you’re going to be staying on the floor, you should think about what changes are required.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider to get a list of all the things you’ll need to do before your procedure.

What Happens During a Westchester Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery?

You will be given general anesthesia during artificial disc replacement surgery. An IV line will be put into a vein in your hand or arm for medication. Anesthesia puts you in a deep sleep and prevents you from feeling pain during the disc replacement procedure.

This operation usually requires a team of doctors made up of a vascular surgeon, an orthopedic, and a neurosurgeon. During the disc replacement surgery, an incision is made on the abdomen to move your organs and blood vessels so they can get to the spine.

Once a clear path is made, the surgeon removes the damaged disc and replaces it with the artificial disc. When blood vessels and organs are put back in place, the incision is stitched close.

After a successful surgery, you will be taken to an ICU for close observation. We will monitor you until the effects of the anesthesia wear off, and we can examine the success of the disc replacement procedure. Once you’re fully awake, alert, and stable, you will be taken to your hospital room.

What Happens After Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery? Get Help From NJSO in Westchester

You will need to rest in the hospital for a few days after your artificial disc replacement surgery. One unique advantage of disc replacement surgery is that the recovery period may be faster than other surgeries.

Pain medications can be prescribed to patients, and you will be given a list of exercises, twists, and gentle activities you can perform. You will be shown how to move properly, walk, and stretch to keep your spine aligned and in the best shape.

Having artificial disc replacement surgery in Westchester it can help with your pain, but it doesn’t always eliminate it completely. Talk to your doctor so you get a realistic view of what life will be like post-surgery.

 

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