Disc Replacement Surgery
What is Disc Replacement Surgery?
Total Disc Replacement
Total disc replacement is a surgery performed to remove a damaged vertebral disc and replace it with a synthetic one. The synthetic disc has a full range of motion allowing the spine to remain mobile while reducing stress on the adjacent vertebrae. Total disc replacement is an alternative to a spinal fusion.
What are the Advantages to Total Disc Replacement?
- No fusion needed
- Range of motion in the spine is maintained
- Less risk of degeneration in adjacent vertebrae (spinal fusion fuses the area putting added pressure on the vertebra above and below the fusion)
Who is a candidate for disc replacement surgery?
- Degenerative disc disease
- Post laminectomy syndrome
- One level disc replacement
- Cervical spine malady
- Between age 18 - 60
- Conservative treatments have failed to provide results
If you suffer from any of the following conditions you are not a candidate for disc replacement therapy:
- Spinal stenosis
- Fracture or tumor causing spinal instability
- Facet joint disease
- Significant radiculopathy (pain radiating down the legs)
- Osteoporosis or poor bone quality
Other criteria that may exclude you as a candidate:
- Not in physically good enough medical condition
- Allergies to material in the implant
The main drawback of the total disc replacement is that most surgeons are only able to perform this procedure on the cervical spine. Lumbar artificial disc replacements (ADR) are very challenging and only performed by specialized surgeons with this special experience. If you are not a candidate for total disc replacement, minimally invasive spine surgery may be right for you.