Back pain is one of the most common sources of chronic pain. Researchers estimate that about 84% of adults throughout the world experience back pain at some point in their lives. If you're someone who has been dealing with chronic back pain, you may have explored various treatment options, including medication, physical therapy, and even surgery.
You might have even considered artificial disc replacement, but how do you know if it’s right for you? Dr. John Regan and the team at Spine Group Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, California, may recommend surgery after a thorough examination, a review of your symptoms, and comprehensive diagnostic imaging.
In the meantime, let’s delve into the world of artificial disc replacement to help you understand if it might be the right solution for your back pain.
Understanding artificial disc replacement
Artificial disc replacement is a surgical procedure designed to treat chronic back pain caused by degenerative disc disease. Unlike spinal fusion, which involves joining two vertebrae together, artificial disc replacement aims to replace the damaged or degenerated disc with an artificial disc, preserving the natural movement and flexibility of your spine.
During an artificial disc replacement surgery, Dr. Regan utilizes minimally invasive techniques to make a small incision to access your affected disc. Dr. Regan removes the damaged disc and inserts an artificial disc into the empty disc space, all in less time than traditional open surgery.
Benefits of an artificial disc replacement
When you consider spinal surgery (or any surgery for that matter), it’s important to weigh all of the pros and cons. Minimally invasive artificial disc replacement provides many benefits, including:
Preservation of your spinal mobility
Spinal fusions limit your range of motion and mobility, but an artificial disc replacement allows for a more natural range of motion. This also reduces the risk of adjacent segment degeneration, a common complication of spinal fusion where the adjacent discs may later start to degenerate.
Reduced stress on adjacent discs and reduce risk of future surgeries
By maintaining the normal motion of your spine, artificial disc replacement can help alleviate the stress on your adjacent discs. This may prevent the need for additional surgeries in the future, as adjacent discs tend to bear increased load after spinal fusion.
Faster recovery time
Compared to traditional spinal fusion surgery, minimally invasive artificial disc replacement surgery generally involves a shorter recovery period. You typically experience less post-operative pain and bleeding, and you can resume your normal activities sooner.
Is artificial disc replacement right for you?
Now that we’ve covered what disc replacement entails and the benefits of doing so, let’s talk about if it’s right for you. While artificial disc replacement offers many benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone. Here are some factors to consider:
A thorough evaluation by Dr. Regan is necessary to determine if your back pain is caused by degenerative disc disease or other conditions that may require different treatments.
Most doctors recommend disc replacement for individuals between the ages of 18 and 60. Younger patients tend to have better bone quality and are more likely to benefit from the procedure.
Artificial disc replacement is typically recommended for patients with single-level degenerative disc disease and stable spinal structures. If you have severe spinal instability or multi-level disc degeneration, Dr. Regan may recommend an alternative treatment.
Your overall health plays a crucial role in determining your candidacy for surgery. Pre-existing medical conditions, such as osteoporosis or obesity, may affect the success of the surgery.
Exploring your options
Artificial disc replacement is a promising surgical option for individuals suffering from chronic back pain due to degenerative disc disease, but you don’t have to make this decision on your own.
Dr. Regan and our team assess your specific condition and guide you toward the most appropriate treatment option. If you’re ready to book your artificial disc replacement consultation, call 424-238-3281 or click here to get started.