Approved for use in the United States by the FDA in 2004, lumbar artificial disc replacement involves the replacement of a damaged disc in the lower back area with one made of a combination of metal and plastic. Usually requiring a 2 to 4 day hospital stay, the procedure helps patients maintain spinal height and range of motion in the affected area of the spine.
Why Consider Artificial Disc Replacement?
Lumbar artificial disc replacement is an alternative to traditional fusion surgery that may minimize discomfort if conservative treatments aren’t effective. It’s a procedure worth considering for patients who are otherwise healthy and have one or two problem discs. Ideal candidates are those who:
- Are not excessively overweight
- Haven’t had previous Los Angeles spine surgery
- Do not have a spinal deformity like scoliosis
How Do You Prepare for Surgery?
Tests will be done to determine or confirm the source of your back pain. You will only benefit from artificial disc replacement if there isn’t another significant factor contributing to your back pain.
What Happens During the Procedure?
An incision will be made to access the affected part of the lower spine. The problem disc will be removed. After the new disc is inserted, you will be taken to a recovery area to be monitored.
What’s Involved in the Recovery Process?
Initially, you’ll need to avoid certain movements, such as twisting or excessive bending. You’ll likely work with a physical therapist who will recommend exercises to recondition your lower back muscles. Recovery averages about half the time it normally takes to recover from fusion surgery because there is no need to wait for a fusion to form.
Nearly 300,000 back surgeries are performed in the United States each year. Statistically, spinal fusion surgery in Los Angeles is considered a fairly reliable procedure. However, the appeal of lumbar artificial disc replacement is the ability to restore normal movement because the new disc will be just as functional as a real one.
If you are experiencing severe pain in your spine and think you might need lumbar artificial disc replacement or another procedure, get in touch with Dr. Hyun Bae at The Spine Institute Center today. Dr. Bae specializes in spinal fusion and alternative procedures that are designed to help patients begin living pain-free lives. Call 310-828-7757 to schedule an in-person evaluation.