Spinal discs, which serve as shock absorbers for your spine, are located in between your vertebrae to reduce friction and make movements such as rotation (twisting), flexion (bending forward), extension (bending backward), and lateral flexion (side-to-side bending) possible. Each disc is normally soft, gel-like, and elastic to be able to absorb shock and normal movement. However, as people age, these discs get worn down, shrink, and dry-out due to normal wear-and-tear, injury or disease.
Artificial Disc Replacement
Disc replacement, a form of arthroplasty, refers to Artificial disc replacement (ADR) or total disc replacement (TDR) is a procedure in which worn or degenerated discs in a patient’s spine are removed and replaced with an artificial device. This procedure allows for rebuilding of the spinal joint while providing the necessary cushion for normal function. We discuss the different procedure options, each with its own nuances. A consultation with your physician will determine which option will work best for your particular situation.
Lumbar Disc Replacement
In this surgical procedure, worn or degenerated discs in the lower back of your spine are removed and replaced with a metal implant or with a combination of plastic and metal disc. This essentially forms a ball and socket joint. The artificial disc is used to mimic the function of a natural intervertebral disc by allowing patients to have a range of motion while reducing or alleviating lower back pain.
Cervical (Neck) Spine Disc Replacement
Cervical spine disc procedures help relieve problems in the cervical spine which is the area comprised of 7 bones, from the top C1-C7 vertebrae, and which support the neck and upper back. Cervical disc replacement is a viable alternative to spinal fusion, without the downsides of the reduced mobility associated with fusion. Similar to lumbar disc replacement procedures, cervical disc replacement uses artificial discs with a metal alloy component, plastics, or a combination of both. The disc is placed between vertebrae to keep the spinal components from touching. This can greatly reduce the amount of pressure on the surrounding nerves and provides immediate relief. The hardware has been designed to mimic the full movement of the spine, allowing for extension, side bending, full rotation and more.
To learn more about the different types of spinal procedures that we offer at Spine Institute Northwest to treat back pain, contact us or call us at 888-712-0318.