Disc herniation and degenerative disc disease (DDD) are common causes of neck and back pain. Thanks to advances in surgical techniques and devices, the skilled orthopaedic surgeons at Texas Orthopaedic Associates in Dallas, Fort Worth, Keller, Plano, and Weatherford, Texas, perform disc replacement surgery. The surgery is used to treat these common neck and back pain conditions. They replace your damaged disc with a prosthetic device, relieving pain and restoring mobility. Do you want to know more about disc replacement? Call Texas Orthopaedic Associates today or schedule a consultation online.
DISC REPLACEMENT Q&A
What is disc replacement?
Disc replacement involves removing a damaged intervertebral disc from your spine and replacing it with an artificial disc. Disc replacement relieves neck or back pain and restores your spine’s normal structure and function.
The artificial disc acts like your natural disc, cushioning your vertebral bones and supporting the normal movement of your spine without pain.
Traditionally, spine surgeons fused the vertebral bones (spinal fusion) after removing a damaged disc. This procedure can ease pain, but it limits the spine’s movement. Disc replacement is a more functional alternative to spinal fusion.
Who can get disc replacement?
The Texas Orthopaedic Associates team determines who can get disc replacement after an evaluation. They might suggest disc replacement if you’ve suffered a disc herniation or have degenerative disc disease (DDD) that causes neck or back pain.
The team only recommends disc replacement if medical interventions (oral anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, spine injections) fail to provide significant pain relief.
Disc replacement is major spine surgery and isn’t the best choice for everyone.
What happens during disc replacement surgery?
The Texas Orthopaedic Associates spine surgeon customizes your disc replacement surgery based on which area of the spine is undergoing surgery and the underlying need. They perform disc replacement on the neck (cervical spine) and lower back (lumbar spine).
While you’re under a general anesthetic (so that you sleep during the procedure), your spine surgeon removes the damaged disc and replaces it with a prosthetic one. They could replace more than one disc during your surgery.
The procedure can take up to three hours. You might need to stay at the hospital until your pain is controlled and you can resume most of your daily functions (standing, walking), which can take up to three days.
What can I expect during recovery from disc replacement?
You can expect some pain and need to change or avoid some activities following your disc replacement. The team gives you specific guidelines on exercise and activity to support your recovery.
Though you must avoid overextending your back, movement is encouraged and can speed up your recovery. Full recovery from disc replacement takes 2-6 weeks. Though results vary, most patients report significant improvements in pain and quality of life following the procedure.
Call Texas Orthopaedic Associates today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about disc replacement surgery.