Artificial disc replacement is a treatment that involves replacing a painful disc that is causing chronic back pain with an artificial disc that provides pain relief without compromising the spine's natural anatomical structure. Artificial discs are structurally similar to the damaged discs that are replaced and share similar functions, including acting as shock absorbers in the back or neck.
In the spine, the disc is the soft, cushioning material between the adjacent bones, or vertebra, of the spine. Artificial disc replacement is a treatment that involves replacing a painful disc that is causing chronic back pain with an artificial disc that provides relief from the pain without compromising the spine's natural anatomical structure. Artificial discs are structurally similar to the damaged discs that are replaced and share similar functions, including acting as shock absorbers in the back or neck.
Artificial Disc Replacement is an alternative to the spinal fusion surgery. The latter method is usually considered if the patient is still suffering even after exhausting all the conservative treatment options such as physical therapy and pain medication. During a spinal fusion surgery, the surgeon makes an incision to access the spine. The damaged disc is then removed and the two vertebrae on either side of the disc are fused together using metal and screws to stabilize the spine. This technique has a higher risk of infection and complications.
Lumbar Disc Replacement, also known as Total Disc Replacement, is a complicated procedure generally performed to treat lower back pain. It involves replacing the damaged or defective disc with an artificial disc which is similar to the natural disc and is designed to mimic the natural movement. It is done in order to reduce the pain by stabilizing the spine and minimizing inflammation. The conditions for performing a lumbar disc replacement surgery are: the presence of pain only in the lower back, the patient should not have any joint disease, should not be excessively overweight, should not have undergone a spinal surgery before, and shouldn’t be suffering from any spinal deformity.
In a Cervical Disc Replacement, an artificial cervical disc is inserted between the two vertebrae in the neck to replace a damaged disc. Cervical discs are the shock absorbers between the bones of the neck or the cervical spine. During this procedure, the patient is given general anesthesia, following which an inch-long incision is made in the front of the neck. The surgeon moves the structures in the neck aside in order to get a clear view of the damaged disc. It is surgically removed and the artificial cervical disc is inserted.
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