Disc Replacement Surgery in Bethlehem, PA
Pain along your spine that develops into chronic pain can be excruciating. In most cases, this type of pain is caused by a malfunctioning disc and can affect any part of the spinal cord, from the cervical region to the lumbar region. While non-surgical measures are first in line when you see a doctor, there comes a time when a disc replacement is the only viable treatment option to reduce pain.
Luckily, NJ Spine & Orthopedic can provide disc replacement surgery in Bethlehem, PA. If you’re in pain, have injured your spine following an accident, or your primary healthcare provider has recommended spine surgery following months of unresponsive pain treatment, schedule a free consultation now. Our spine specialists are fully board-certified, have decades of experience, and have helped dozens of people all over Pennsylvania.
Understanding Disc Replacement Surgery
Disc replacement surgery in Bethlehem, PA involves removing a torn, worn, or degenerated disc and substituting it with an artificial one. A disc is a rubbery part between your vertebrae filled with gel-like fluid, which helps them act as shock absorbers and make the spine flexible. On the other hand, an artificial disc is made of metal or a combination of metal and medical-grade plastic. It is meant to function like the natural disc by maintaining spine mobility.
Conditions that may make your natural disc need replacement are those that cause the disc to lose its natural functioning. They may include:
- Degenerative disc disease (DDD): This is the natural degradation of your spinal disc, mostly due to age, which causes pressure on the nerve roots, leading to pain. Symptoms may include neck or back pain, numbness, weakness, or shooting pain in the hands or legs, depending on the affected spine segment.
- Herniated disc: This is when the inner, soft part of the disc protrudes through a rapture or crack into the exterior. This is caused mainly by aging or injury due to heavy lifting.
- Bulging disc: Though often confused with a herniated disc, a bulging disc occurs when the exterior part of the disc extends more than it should. This condition is unnoticeable unless the surrounding nerves are affected, which may cause symptoms such as neck, back, or lower back pain, numbness, and weakness.
- Disc tear: Disc tear results from when someone with DDD experiences trauma or stress around the disc area due to activities such as heavy lifting or conditions like obesity. Disc tears eventually lead to disc herniation, which may cause pain.
- Bone spurs: These are projections that develop along the edges of a bone, including on the spine. If they grow inward, they can press on the nerve roots or constrict the spinal canal, causing pain that might develop into severe chronic pain.
Normally, when someone with neck or back pain sees a doctor, they’ll most likely be prescribed pain medication, physical therapy, epidural injections, or a combination that may help treat the pain. However, in severe cases, disc replacement surgery may be the solution.
Types of Disc Replacement Surgeries in Bethlehem, PA
Disc replacement surgery is a minimally invasive operation that swaps your damaged spine disc with an artificial disc. Unlike disc fusion, disc replacement maintains the normal functioning and mobility of the spine, reducing the possible risks associated with fusion. The type of disc replacement surgery depends on the affected region of your spine.
- Cervical artificial disc replacement is a procedure that treats neck pain that may extend to the arms and hands, causing weakness and numbness.
- Lumbar disc replacement is an alternative to lumbar fusion and involves removing a herniated or degenerated disc from your lower back and substituting it with an artificial disc. It treats lower back pain that may extend to the legs.
- M6-C artificial cervical disc is an FDA-approved advanced artificial disc that not only preserves spine motion around the neck but also replicates the natural movement of the spine.
Our surgeons may conduct tests to determine where the pain originates and whether you can benefit from disc replacement surgery. This may include X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, or a discography.
The Process of Replacing a Disc
Disc replacement surgery in Bethlehem, PA, is a minimally invasive procedure conducted under general anesthesia. Our spine specialist will always discuss any risks and other pre-op requirements with you, depending on your unique case.
The surgeon will make a small incision on your back or neck to access the affected disc. They’ll then use high-precision surgical tools with the help of a small camera inserted through the incision to remove and replace your disc. The procedure will take about two to three hours, and, in most cases, patients can go home the same day. However, you’ll have to follow restrictions set by your surgeon on what you can or cannot do. They may also recommend physical therapy to improve recovery.
Speak With Bethlehem Disc Replacement Specialists at NJ Spine & Orthopedic
Disc replacement surgery is a lifesaver for many people with chronic neck and back pain. This minimally invasive procedure results in fewer risks of infection, less bleeding, and negligible trauma. Our minimally invasive disc replacement surgery in Bethlehem, PA, also results in minimal scarring and a quick recovery.
NJ Spine & Orthopedic is composed of board-certified, world-renowned, and experienced orthopedics, neurosurgeons, and other specialists who are committed to curating a treatment plan unique to you. Schedule a consultation by contacting us online or at (866) 553-0612. Our Concierge Team can help you streamline your treatment appointments as well.