Artificial disc replacement is an excellent alternative to spinal fusion for the appropriate candidate for surgical treatment of severe disc problems. The surgery is indicated for patients with severe degenerative disc disease. As spinal structures degenerate, they may cause pain, limiting function and decreasing quality of life. Total disc replacement (TDR, also called artificial disc) surgery is a recent advancement in spine surgery.
The intervertebral discs attach to adjacent vertebrae as well as absorbing the wear and tear of the body’s movements. When the discs shrink, the spinal nerves can become compressed and cause significant pain.
If you are one of the many people who deal with conditions such as herniated discs, bulging discs or spinal stenosis, then disc replacement surgery is a consideration for you.
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Benefits of a Total Disc Replacement
The benefits of disc replacement are to preserve motion and reduce abnormal stresses at the disc above and below the surgery.
Patients who receive an artificial disc often have a speedier recovery than those who underwent a spinal fusion.
Artificial disc replacement eliminates the need for bone grafting.
It can be done using minimally invasive techniques in an outpatient setting, depending on the health of the patient and the complexity of procedure required.
It results in maintaining good range of motion at that level.
There is no likelihood of pseudarthosis.
Immobilization is typically less than a week.