Spinal Disc replacement

About Spinal Disc replacement

Disc replacement surgery (arthroplasty) involves replacing a herniated intervertebral disc (lumbar or cervical) with a prosthesis designed to retain the mobility of the spine. The goal of disc replacement is to reduce pain and neurological symptoms associated with nerve root or cord compression. The disc prosthesis is designed to re-establish the original disc height and emulate the natural biomechanics and movement of the spine. Disc replacement is an option for certain patients when non-surgical measures have failed to resolve or reduce symptoms.

The Procedure

During the disc replacement surgery, a small 3-to-4 centimetre incision is made in the front of your neck to access your cervical spine. For the lower back the incision is given from the front usually. The damaged disc is removed and the impinged nerve is then relieved. The disc prosthesis is then inserted into the disc space using specialized and precise instruments. After the new disc is successfully placed, the incision is closed.

Are you a candidate for Spinal Disc replacement?

Here are factors to consider:
  • Do you suffer from an injury to your neck as a result of an automobile or work accident?
  • Do you have a herniated disk?
  • Do you have knee deformity (bow legged or knock kneed) that hinders normal function of the knee?
  • Do you suffer from spinal cord compression?
  • Do you need to take medication regularly?
  • Have you been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease?
  • Do you suffer from arthritis resulting in spinal stenosis?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then Spinal Disc Replacement surgery is worth exploring.

Post Op Recovery

As with any major surgery, the patient should expect some discomfort initially as well as a period of rehabilitation. On an average the patient can expect to stay in the hospital for a day or two. The surgeon will help to put together a plan to steadily bring the patient back to normal activity while the healing process occurs. Patients are encouraged to begin moving soon after surgery. Most patients return to normal daily activities two weeks after surgery. Recovery time after disc replacement surgery is generally much faster than what is experienced after spinal fusion surgery.