Artificial disc replacement is a newer surgical procedure meant to treat lower back pain. Much like a joint or knee replacement, an artificial disc replacement involves the insertion of a mechanical device as a substitute for an intervertebral disc in the spine. This new artificial disc is meant to restore motion in your back by replacing an otherwise degenerated or worn out disc. Unlike other surgical options, an artificial disc replacement is thought to correct common motion issues and is becoming a very popular alternative to other procedures such as a lumbar fusion.
A surgeon will typically run a few tests before determining if you qualify for an artificial disc replacement. These may include a discography, computed tomography (CT or CAT scan), x-rays, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Following these tests, your doctor will determine the source of your pain before assessing if artificial disc replacement is a viable option.
Suitable candidates for this procedure will typically suffer from back pain caused by intervertebral discs in the lumbar spine. If you are excessively overweight, have had prior surgery on your lumbar spine, or have a deformity such as scoliosis, you may be disqualified.
Most surgeries take about two to three hours and involve an incision in the abdomen that gives your surgeon easy access to the spine. The surgeon will then open and expose the disc space, often with the help of a vascular surgeon. The artificial disc is then implanted and secured to complete the procedure.
Having undergone an artificial disc replacement, patients can expect an average hospital stay of two to four days. During this time patients are encouraged to walk around and stretch. Total rehabilitation can then take a couple of weeks or a couple of months depending on the severity of the back issue.
If you are looking for an artificial disc replacement in Marina Del Rey, the SpinePro team of Dr. Hooman M. Melamed would like to talk to you. Call the SpinePro team of Dr. Hooman M. Melamed to start getting your life back on track.
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