Is Disc Replacement Right for You?

An estimated 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Many of these individuals will manage their pain with rest, stretching, and other conservative methods. But what if your pain persists? Is disc replacement right for you?

Because back pain can derail your life, Dr. John Regan and our expert team at Spine Group Beverly Hills are proponents of finding the right treatment to manage your pain, and for many, a disc replacement can be the solution for improving mobility and decreasing pain.

If a disc in your back or neck causes chronic pain, it might be time to consider disc replacement. Below, we’ll cover three signs that an artificial disc replacement is right for you.

1. A damaged disc is the source of your pain

Spine pain – whether it’s your cervical spine or lumbar spine – can have many causes. Pulled muscles, fractures, and arthritis are just three examples of conditions that cause pain. Knowing the cause of your pain is the first step in determining if a disc replacement is the right treatment for you.

You might be a candidate for a disc replacement if your disc is damaged by one of the following conditions:

To confirm the source of your pain, Dr. Regan conducts a physical exam, asks you about your symptoms, and may order imaging studies. MRI and/or CT scans can reveal signs of herniation or disc degeneration.

2. You’ve already tried conservative treatments … but still have pain

When it comes to chronic pain in your neck or back, you’ve got plenty of non-surgical treatments, and most of the time, they are effective. Non-surgical treatments for chronic back pain include:

However, sometimes conservative treatments aren’t enough to manage your pain. In these cases, Dr. Regan may suggest surgery for you. If you’re not getting adequate relief after several weeks of trying conservation treatments, artificial disc replacement may be something to consider.

3. You notice tingling, numbness, and pain in your legs or arms

Even though your damaged disc is located in your spine, you might feel the effects in your arms or legs. If a disc is damaged or is herniated, it can put too much pressure on nearby nerves. Because your nerves run from your spine to your limbs, it’s possible to feel numbness, weakness, pain, and tingling that radiates through your legs or arms.

Severe nerve-related symptoms include loss of bladder and bowel control, according to the experts at Harvard Health.

Dr. Regan takes these three factors into account when determining whether or not artificial disc replacement is right for you. In addition to these three factors, your surgical eligibility will also depend on your overall health and the presence of any other medical conditions.

If artificial disc replacement is right for you ...

Disc replacement may be performed as a minimally invasive spine surgery to replace the damaged discs in your back or neck with an artificial prosthetic disc. During the procedure, the damaged disc is removed through a small incision. With the new disc in place, the space between the two vertebrates is restored, which takes the pressure off your nerves, relieving your unpleasant symptoms.

Minimally invasive disc replacement:

Most importantly, minimally invasive disc replacement can alleviate pain and restore your mobility. If back or neck pain is keeping you from thriving, we can guide you with your next steps. We are experts at matching people with the right treatment – whether that’s disc replacement or another procedure. Call our Beverly Hills or Santa Monica, California office to schedule an appointment.

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