What is Disc Replacement? What to Expect?

Did you know the spine controls most of the major body functions? For this reason, the spine is among the most delicate body structures. Usually, car accidents are the most common causes of spinal cord injuries. In addition, other factors, including degenerative disc disease of the spine, may cause severe and painful symptoms. Where you have a problem with the spinal discs, a disc replacement Dayton specialist and neurosurgeon, Kamal Woods, can help relieve your pain. Continue reading for more information about disc replacement.

Reasons you might need a disc replacement

The spine consists of vertebrae, nerves, discs, and the spinal cord. The spinal discs offer protection to the vertebrae from injuries or degeneration. The discs also act as the spine’s shock absorbers and enhance mobility.

The discs cushion the vertebrae by preventing the bones in your spine from rubbing against each other.

When your discs have problems, they may lead to chronic pain, numbness, tingling sensations, and decreased mobility. Various factors may lead to disc problems, including osteoarthritis, age, and degenerative disc disease.

The discs also wear down with time, losing their cushioning.

 Disc replacement or arthroplasty is a procedure to treat damaged and weary spinal discs by interchanging them with artificial discs.

What happens during disc replacement?

You may qualify for disc replacement treatment if you have problems with spinal discs. Your provider evaluates your condition during your consultation, including reviewing past treatments to determine if you are a good candidate for disc replacement.

You may be an ideal candidate for disc replacement if you meet the following.

  •         Have a healthy weight
  •         You have a mature spine
  •         You have back pain resulting from spinal discs
  •         If your back pain is not a result of nerve compression or facet joint problems
  •         You have not had spine surgery before
  •         Do not have scoliosis, among other spinal deformities

They conduct a physical exam, analyze your past health status, and carry out imaging tests to evaluate your health further.

Disc replacement is common in the lower back, known as lumbar. The treatment occurs under anesthesia; hence it’s comfortable and painless. Your provider makes a cut in your abdomen to locate the affected disc. They remove the worn disc and replace it with a new artificial disc; then, they close the incision.

The surgery takes about 2- 3 hours. The new disc releases pressure on nerves and enhances flexibility, promoting your spine’s range of motion. In some cases, you can have disc replacement surgery in place of spinal fusion.

Are there risks involved in disc replacement?

You are likely to develop the following from a disc replacement.

  •         Spinal stenosis
  •         Infection
  •         Increased spine stiffness
  •         Dislocation of the replacement disc

Your provider takes you through what to expect before and after the disc replacement procedure to allow you to prepare.

You can lower and prevent complications from disc replacement by following the set recommendations by your surgeon. Take medications as prescribed and seek medical care when you first notice any concern, such as bleeding.

Dr. Wood is a board-certified surgeon and among the top surgeons in Ohio. He offers successful disc replacement providing excellent results. Contact his office at Vertrae today to schedule your consultation.