If you have low back pain and the treatments you've tried don't help very much, your doctor might recommend an artificial disc replacement procedure. This surgery replaces your damaged disc with an artificial one. A disc replacement procedure is an alternative to spinal fusion surgery. Here are more details to know about an artificial disc replacement.
Removing Your Damaged Disc Relieves Back Pain
Your spine has a disc between each vertebrae so the vertebrae can glide when you twist or move your spine. Otherwise, the bones scrape each other and cause pain. When a disc wears down, it can no longer cushion your spine, and that's what causes chronic back pain.
This condition can be helped when your doctor inserts an artificial disc into the space between your vertebrae because the disc keeps the bones away from each other when your spine moves.
The Surgery Is Usually For One Disc
You can have a disc replacement procedure on more than one disc, but it's commonly performed on just one disc. If you have multiple injured discs, your doctor may recommend a spinal fusion instead. A spinal fusion is often recommended when you have other back complications too, so your doctor needs to evaluate your condition to make sure you're a good match for an artificial disc replacement procedure.
You'll Probably Need A Hospital Stay
A disc replacement is a major surgery, and it requires general anesthesia. You may be in the hospital for a day or two to begin your recovery. A disc replacement in your spine is usually done with the surgeon working through your abdomen rather than your back. You'll be positioned on your back on the operating table so the doctor can make the incision on your abdomen.
You won't need many incisions since the surgeon moves your muscles, intestines, and large vessels out of the way rather than cut through them. With your abdominal contents pushed to the side, the doctor can see your vertebrae and discs so the bad one can be removed.
The vertebrae are opened up so the new disc can be inserted. You might require a few internal stitches, but the incision on your abdomen may be closed with surgical glue instead.
Recovering Could Take Weeks Or Months
You'll have discomfort and pain after the surgery, but your doctor should provide pain relief that helps. You may need to take off from work for several days or weeks, depending on the type of work you do. Once your pain is better and you can move around, your doctor will probably have you start physical therapy treatments so you can regain your strength.
You'll be provided with a full list of instructions for bathing, caring for the incision, driving, and activity level so you know exactly what to do at home to heal properly and quickly.Share
23 May 2023
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