For patients who suffer from spinal discs that have become worn down or damaged, an artificial disk replacement may be the best option to alleviate the chronic pain. This is the process of removing the cushioning between vertebrae and inserting an artificial replacement. Doctors may recommend this procedure because of ongoing back pain and loss of mobility that their patients cannot adequately recover from using a traditional treatment method.
While back pain is a common condition that many of us will experience in our lifetime, many of us won’t need surgery to treat it. When more conservative treatment methods like physical therapy and over-the-counter pain management aren’t successful, surgery may be an option to consider.
Patients that have exhausted available nonsurgical treatments but still suffer from symptoms of spinal diseases like stenosis or degenerative disc disorder may first consider lumbar fusion.
While this is a popular procedure, results vary greatly from patient to patient. Part of this issue may be because fusing vertebrae prevents the spine from maintaining its normal range of motion. That is why artificial disc replacement may be the better option since it preserves motion and also treats chronic back issues effectively.
Many conditions could benefit from artificial disc replacement, but this surgery is usually a last resort. Patients who make good candidates for this spinal surgery will have some of the below characteristics:
It will also be necessary for your surgeon to assess your condition by running a few tests, including:
The information gathered from these procedures will help your surgeon pinpoint the location of your back pain.
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The length and type of artificial disc replacement surgery experience you have will depend on your current spine health. Many patients can undergo a minimally invasive surgical procedure to replace their worn-out vertebral discs, which comes with a whole host of benefits, including:
Depending on the surgical approach your surgeon takes, you make an incision to access the affected lumbar through the front of your body or through your back by way of special tools that can move aside delicate muscles and nerves. Once the affected disc is visible, your surgeon will carefully remove it and then insert a new artificial disc implant into that space.
With the recent FDA approval of the M6-C Artificial Cervical Disc, which offers six ranges of motion instead of the standard five, there are many options available to treat your condition. Many of these medical devices consist of high-quality medical-grade plastic, cobalt-chromium, and even titanium alloy. These disc implants also mimic the natural movement of your spine, which can restore mobility.
Your surgeon will review the designs available and which types best suit your medical needs.
Depending on whether you have a traditional artificial disc replacement surgery or a minimally invasive procedure, you could go home to recover the same day or be in the hospital for a few days. What you can expect is that your doctors and nurses will encourage you to walk the day after surgery. This is to facilitate needed movement throughout your trunk to help the body begin rehabilitating and healing after your operation.
For a few weeks post-op, you can also expect to have a regimen of basic exercise that will likely include stretching and walking while ensuring you do not hyperextend your spine. Within a few weeks to months, many patients begin experiencing improvement in their back pain and may even see some of their related disabilities improve.
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At NJ Spine & Orthopedics, our state-of-the-art equipment and procedures help us meet your goals of faster recovery and living a pain-free life. You can trust our board-certified surgeons and medical experts who are successful leaders in the healthcare industry and believe that everyone deserves access to quality care.
If you have exhausted all of your options to put an end to chronic back pain caused by a problematic vertebral disc, our office has the solutions you need to regain mobility and end chronic pain. Try our free Treatment Finder tool, contact us online, or call (866) 272-9271 to begin seeking the best solution to your pain.
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