What Is Disc Replacement Surgery and When Would I Need It?

Approximately 40 percent of adults over the age of 40 suffer from degenerative disc disease, as do nearly 80 percent of those who are over the age of 80. Continue reading to learn about disc replacement surgery.

If you suffer from degenerative disc disease or have other spinal disc issues, you know how uncomfortable they can be. You might even feel as if there’s no cure out there for your pain.

The good news is that you may be able to find some relief by undergoing disc replacement surgery.

Everything you need to know about this surgery is explained below, from what it involves to who is an ideal candidate.

What is Disc Replacement Surgery?

Disc replacement surgery involves the removal of the problematic discs of the spine. The disc (or discs) is then replaced with an artificial disc.

The goal of this procedure is to maintain proper spinal motion and reduce the likelihood that the other discs of the spine will experience the same degeneration. Surgeons who recommend this surgery over other options also aim to help patients recover faster and return to their normal daily activities sooner

What Happens During This Surgery?

Surgeons typically perform this surgery on the discs that make up the cervical and lumbar spine.

During the procedure, the surgeon will remove the disc and any impinging fragments or bone spurs that are contributing to the patient’s symptoms. They’ll leave the disc space open to relieve nerve pressure, too. At this point, the surgeon will implant an artificial disc device into the open space.

Signs You Need This Surgery

Disc replacement surgery can be very beneficial to some patients.

If you’re experiencing the following signs and symptoms, there’s a good chance it can help to relieve your pain and improve your quality of life:

  • Chronic back pain or stiffness
  • Chronic headaches or migraines (often associated with cervical disc issues)
  • Pain in the shoulders or arms
  • Weakness in the arms, hands, or legs
  • Numbness or a “pins and needles” feeling in the arms, hands, or legs

When other treatments don’t help to correct these issues, surgeons will often recommend this surgery as an alternative.

What to Expect After Surgery

The good thing about this surgery is that the recovery process for the procedure is less intense than it is for some other procedures.

In most cases, patients can return home between 24 and 48 hours after their surgery. They usually do not experience many (if any) mobility limitations afterward, either. Most people notice significant improvements within a couple of days, too.

Learn More About This Surgery Today

Disc replacement surgery can be a great option for individuals suffering from degenerative disc disease. It can help to reduce your pain and prevent additional damage to the spine.

Are you considering this surgery for yourself or a loved one? Do you want to learn more about it or find out if you’re a good candidate?

If so, contact us at Moreno Spine & Scoliosis today to schedule a consultation. We’ll evaluate your spine, consider your symptoms, and let you know which treatment approach is the best fit for you.