Lumbar Total Disc Replacement
- If a patient is suffering from unremitting low back pain
- If, at least six months of aggressive conservative nonsurgical treatment has failed to help
- If the pain and other symptoms are making it difficult to complete everyday activities
Then surgery can be considered to relieve the pain and restore function for the patient. We, at Spine Physicians Institute, commonly see this in our patients and treat them accordingly.
The traditional approach to treating pain and/or disability from lumbar degenerative disc disease is spinal fusion. This surgery involves forming a direct bony connection between the vertebrae surrounding the painful disc(s). Pain relief occurs by stopping the motion of the painful disc(s).
There are a variety of options available with spinal fusion. Each of these options come with their own advantages and disadvantages;
- Surgical techniques for fusion are approached from the front, the back, or both.
- Spinal instrumentation in the form of intervertebral cages and/or pedicle screws provide internal structural support while the bone fuses.
The bone graft can either be harvested from the patient or one of a number of synthetic bone graft substitutes. If neither option is viable then extenders can be used.
Artificial Disc Replacement
A new surgical option for the treatment of painful lumbar discs in the U.S. is artificial disc replacement. In this technique, pain relief is brought by removal of the painful disc. The motion is maintained with the use of a prosthetic implant made of metal with polyethylene bearing surface.
Schedule a Consultation
The materials and theory behind the lumbar total disc replacement is not an unfamiliar territory. It has been used similarly for hip, knee and shoulder replacements. Orthopedic surgeons have used this approach to maintain motion and alleviate pain from arthritic joints for past three decades.
The difference in lumbar spine is that only one of three joints that contributes motion at each level is being replaced. That joint being the intervertebral disc space. However, in a hip or knee, the entire joint is replaced.
Lumbar fusion is rather widely performed procedure. There are only a small percentage of patients with symptomatic degenerative disc disease who are eligible for lumbar disc replacements.
If a patient has to be suffering from unremitting low back pain. At least six months of aggressive conservative nonsurgical treatment must have failed to help. Moreover, the pain and other symptoms must be making it difficult to complete everyday activities. Only then back surgery may be an option to bring about pain relief and restore one’s ability to function.
For more questions, contact our offices located in Dallas, Irving, Red Oak, Plano, Southlake, Grapevine, Colleyville and Duncanville marketplaces.