Lumber & Cervical Disc Replacement
Lumbar disk replacement?
Lumbar disk replacement is a surgical procedure designed to address back or spine issues. Your spine consists of stacked vertebrae, and disks between them act as cushions, allowing movement without bone-to-bone contact. In the lower part of your spine (lumbar region), these disks can wear out or degenerate. Lumbar disk replacement involves replacing a damaged disk with an artificial one typically made of metal or a combination of metal and plastic.
This procedure serves as an alternative to the more common spinal fusion surgery, where two vertebrae are permanently joined together. Lumbar disk replacement is a major surgery performed under general anesthesia and typically requires a hospital stay.
The primary reason for undergoing lumbar disk replacement is to address low back pain. However, not everyone with low back pain is a suitable candidate for this surgery. Your doctor will conduct tests to determine if lumbar disk replacement is the right procedure for your specific condition.
cervical disk replacement surgery
Your cervical spine, located in the neck area, consists of 7 stacked bones called cervical vertebrae, separated by cervical disks that act as shock absorbers, enabling neck movement. This spine also protects the upper spinal cord, housing the nerves responsible for sensation and movement in your upper body.
When the space between these vertebrae narrows, it can lead to compression of the spinal cord or nerves, causing pain, numbness, or weakness. When non-surgical treatments fail to provide relief, cervical disk replacement surgery may be recommended.
In this procedure, a diseased cervical disk is removed and replaced with an artificial one. This is a newer approach approved by the FDA, offering advantages like greater mobility and reduced stress on adjacent vertebrae compared to traditional fusion surgery, where adjacent vertebrae are joined to restrict motion.
It is important to talk with your surgeon about the purpose of your surgery and
how it is related to the diagnosis of your spinal problem.
For example, you must understand why it is recommended – to relieve pain, improve functioning, or improve the symptoms.
For most spinal conditions wherein the pain is not relieved by non-invasive methods, spine surgery is the only option. The type of spine surgery that the doctor decides to conduct may depend on the ailment or the root cause of the pain. The most common alternative to disc replacement is microdiscectomy followed by spinal fusion. However, talk to your surgeon if he/she knows about other options or if there is any reason to try a different kind of treatment or postpone the procedure.
All surgeries carry some risks of developing certain complications such as infection, excessive bleeding, and nerve injury. In addition to these, disc replacement can also lead to complications such as sensitivity to the material of the artificial disc, breakage or wear and tear of the disc’s components, dislocation of the implant, damage to the vertebra where the disc replacement was done, or failure of improvement after the procedure. Your surgeon will discuss all the risks involved in the procedure.
Ask your surgeon what benefits you will experience after the disc replacement procedure. Also, ask why disc replacement is a better option than microdiscectomy or spinal fusion and vice versa. You should ask when can you return to work again and whether you will live a pain-free life after the surgery. You should seek knowledge of how long these benefits will last or if you will need to undergo another surgery after some time.
The duration of recovery is different for various patients based on their age, overall health, and their lifestyle; it may vary from a few weeks to a few months. However, one should be able to return to normal activities within 4 to 6 weeks.
Your cervical spine is made up of the 7 bones, called cervical vertebrae, stacked on top of each other forming the neck area. The cervical disks are the cushions that lie between the cervical vertebrae. They act as shock absorbers to allow your neck to move freely.
Your cervical spine also forms a protective tunnel for the upper part of your spinal cord to pass through. This part of your spinal cord contains the spinal nerves that supply your upper body with sensation and movement.
When the space between your vertebrae becomes too narrow, part of your vertebrae or your cervical disk can press on your spinal cord or spinal nerves, causing you pain, numbness, or weakness. When these symptoms do not respond to nonsurgical types of treatment, disk surgery may be recommended.
Surgery is needed when the patient has failed all forms of conservative management with no relief in the pain over a period of four to six weeks or more. The patient may need an earlier surgery, which may occasionally be urgent or emergent also in case they are having weakness in muscles or involvement of bowel or bladder or gait problems.
A patient with neck pain with tingling, numbness, with or without weakness, but with peripheral pain going down the arms who have failed all conservative means are usual patients for surgery. All such patients should be tried with conservative means except if there is a neurological deficit or worsening neurological involvement, severely worsening pain, involvement of bowel or bladder, or balance. These patients may need urgent or emergent surgery to halt the neurological deficit or progression and help in recovery