DAVE WATTS, MD
Lumbar Artificial Disc Replacements
Lumbar artificial disc replacement is a surgical procedure for replacing diseased or damaged intervertebral discs in the spinal column. The lumbar artificial replacement involves replacing it with an artificial disc. This artificial disc replacement helps restore spine’s motion function.
Common spine conditions like degenerative disc disease or gradual degeneration of the disc, is caused due to aging.
In order to diagnose the problem, the orthopedic surgeon may recommend tests like discography, computed tomography, X-rays, or MRI.
Artificial disc replacement is mostly recommended to patients with a back pain caused by bulged or worn out intervertebral discs. Surgery is not an option for morbidly obese patients having scoliosis or undergone surgery.
There are two types of disc designs commonly used for lumbar artificial replacements; disc nucleus replacement and total disc replacement.
In disc nucleus replacement only central portion of the discus is replaced with a mechanical device and the outer ring is not removed. It is a rarely deployed procedure and still in trails.
Total artificial disc replacement involves replacing annulus and nucleus with mechanical device to restore normal spinal function.
The artificial discs can be made up of different materials and it depends on the type of disc the surgeon wants to use.
Artificial disc implantation requires healing. The rehabilitation process usually starts right after the surgery. A patient may have to stay in recovery for only 2 to 4 hours.
A patient can be subject to the following risks after surgery.
Increasing or continued pain
Wear of the device material
Breakage or dislodgement of the device
Injury to the blood vessels