Artificial disc replacement surgery involves replacing a painful disc with an artificial disc. Artificial disc surgery may be performed on the lower back (lumbar spine) or the neck (cervical spine). Artificial discs are designed with the goal of mimicking the form and function of the spine’s natural disc.
Individuals with degenerated discs in the lower (lumbar) spine sometimes suffer from disabling, chronic low back pain. Most patients with symptomatic degenerative conditions in the spine are treated non-surgically with anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and injections. Most of these individuals will favorably respond to non-surgical methods of treatment, but a subset of individuals will continue to experience pain. The chronic nature of back pain often interferes with the ability to work and participate in regular daily activities. As a result, surgical treatment may become necessary.
There are multiple conservative and minimally invasive treatment options available to manage symptomatic degenerative disc disease. However, if surgery is indicated the surgical treatment of choice has traditionally consisted of a lumbar spinal fusion.
Is disc replacement surgery successful?
The average success rate of a lumbar spinal fusion is approximately 75%-80%. … For these reasons, neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons have engaged in research to offer an alternative to lumbar spinal fusion surgery. One promising area of research includes the development of an artificial spinal disc.
Artificial Disc Replacement or Spinal Fusion: Which is Better for You?
As a patient suffering from unremitting low back pain, if at least six months of aggressive nonsurgical treatment has failed to help, and especially if the pain and other symptoms are making it difficult to complete everyday activities, then back surgery may be an option to bring about pain relief and restore one’s ability to function. For patients in this situation, this article provides an overview of the two types of back surgery now available: spinal fusion and artificial disc replacement (ADR, sometimes referred to as total disc replacement or TDR).