Your spinal vertebrae are separated by intervertebral discs, and each disc functions as a shock absorber between your vertebrae. Unfortunately, these discs can become damaged over time, and without fully functioning discs, you’re at risk for chronic back or neck pain 一 depending on whether your damaged disc is in your cervical or lumbar spine.
While surgery isn’t always the first line of defense against disc pain, surgery can be the right path forward if other conservative treatments don’t effectively eliminate your pain. If your intervertebral discs are damaged, Dr. John Regan and the team at Spine Group Beverly Hills may recommend an artificial disc replacement.
If you’re weighing the pros and cons of surgery, you might wonder if artificial disc replacements work efficiently. Read on to find out.
Artificial disc replacement surgery is designed to replace damaged or diseased intervertebral discs with an artificial one. There are many different types of artificial discs. Many of them consist of an inner medical grade plastic covered in a metal shell made of titanium 一 a metal well-known for its biocompatibility. Artificial discs can also be made of cobalt chromium.
Even though there are many types of artificial discs and many surgical techniques used to replace them 一 Dr. Regan utilizes minimally invasive surgical techniques to remove your damaged disc 一 the goal remains the same: to replace your damaged disc, retain spinal movement and flexibility, and reduce your pain.
When you’re considering surgery, one of the determining factors is how efficient the surgery is. Will it eliminate your chronic pain? Will it restore your mobility? Artificial disc replacements do eliminate pain, but it depends on the ultimate cause of your pain. Artificial disc replacement is an effective solution for disc pain due to:
Although each of these conditions are different, they have one similarity: they contribute to damaged discs. When your discs are damaged, the soft inner portion of the disc can break through the outer shell and press on your nerves. When this happens, you may experience a range of nerve pain symptoms, such as burning sensations, tingling, and pain.
Artificial disc replacement is an effective and efficient surgery because it completely removes the problematic disc. With the damaged disc out of the picture, you can begin to feel better.
You might consider disc replacement if:
Artificial disc replacement isn’t an efficient solution for back or neck pain caused by other issues. For example, if you have spinal stenosis, Dr. Regan may recommend a minimally invasive decompression surgery instead. Before you commit to any surgery, our team performs a comprehensive exam, reviews your symptoms, and analyzes diagnostic imaging (such as x-rays) before creating your custom treatment plan.
To learn more about artificial disc replacement, call 424-238-3281 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Regan today. Or, book an appointment online.