Lumbar disc replacement is a surgical procedure in which a patient’s natural spinal disc(s) is replaced with an artificial disc. This is necessary for herniated discs, as well as for patients suffering from degenerative disc disease. However, it’s more common for patients with a degenerative disease, as herniated lumbar discs can often be treated through arthroscopic surgery with excellent results. To determine if disc replacement is the right option for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health by calling Call407-303-5452.
What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative disc disease is a condition in which the discs that separate the vertebrae in the spine are gradually worn down and eventually fail. Low back pain is the most common symptom of those suffering with this condition, though the exact reason why some people suffer from rapidly degenerative discs and others do not is not clear.
The role of spinal discs is to absorb shock in the spine, as well as allowing movement – without discs separating your vertebras, you would be unable to bend or twist, or even to stand upright. As discs deteriorate, those abilities are exactly what patients begin to lose, eventually culminating in serious mobility problems and pain in the most severe cases.
In the Past
Before the current advances in modern medicine, degenerative disc disease could only be treated by spinal fusion. While this is still an option in some cases, fusion is not necessarily the ideal way to go. Disc replacement with an artificial disc offers patients the ability to retain and even improve their range of motion and mobility, eliminate pain and live a normal life. Spinal fusion, on the other hand, does offer pain relief, but at the cost of mobility because the fusion process creates a single unit of two or more vertebras. In addition, the vertebras above and below the fusion point can be subject to greater stress, leading to further degeneration of the discs in those areas.
Today, disc replacement is a very real, very beneficial option for many patients suffering from degenerative disc disease. These are synthetic discs approved by the FDA. Dr. Chetan Patel will perform a disc replacement surgery using minimally invasive techniques to ensure the fastest healing time, trauma reduction and lessened pain. The replacement disc is made of metal and plastic, and is designed to work just like a natural disc, but without the rapid degeneration that can affect natural materials.
Recovery from Disc Replacement Surgery
Recovery for this type of surgery is longer than some other back surgeries, but is comparable with spinal fusion recovery. Patients can expect to spend two to four days in the hospital for observation and to ensure proper healing of the wound before being discharged. After discharge, the patient will have to undergo physical therapy, and a return to normal duties can take six weeks or more, depending on how strenuous those duties are.
For more information about disc replacement surgery, degenerative disc disease or spinal fusion, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health. Call Call407-303-5452 to request an appointment today.