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If you’re considering spinal surgery, you probably already know that there are a lot of options out there. Minimally invasive spine surgery may sound like a buzz word, but recent medical advancements are making these types of surgery the new standard of care. Types of procedures range from spinal fusion, discectomy (removal of the damaged disc), ACDF (discectomy and fusion) to minimally invasive decompression and stabilization. Deciding which surgery is right for you is ultimately something you should decide with your doctor’s help.

When it comes to minimally invasive artificial disc replacement, here are some helpful facts that can help you decide if this is an option worth investigating.

What is the artificial disc replacement procedure?

In this procedure, a small incision is made, and the damaged or diseased disc is removed. A prosthesis disc is then inserted into the space once the spine has been properly aligned. Once the prosthesis has been set, your specialist will check its placement and your spinal alignment both visually and with x-ray to ensure proper alignment.

Conditions treatable with artificial disc replacement:

  • Degenerative Disc Disease (Spondylosis)
  • Herniated Disc
  • Pinched Nerve

Because disc damage occurs in both DDD and herniated discs, removing the damaged disc and replacing it with a prosthetic disc is an effective way to mediate the damage caused and preserve range of motion. Because the spine is properly aligned and spaced when the prosthesis is inserted, conditions such as pinched nerve are often relieved in the process.

Why disc replacement?

Is disc replacement better than other minimally invasive options? One recent study reported that in military patients, artificial disc replacements were successful in 80% of cases. While surgeries like ACDF boast a 90% success rate, fusing vertebrae creates side effects which could accelerate degeneration in the neighboring areas of the spine. So, numbers alone aren’t the best metric when determining which procedure is best.

Recovery from artificial disc replacement

Generally, most patients recover in about six weeks. Some activities may not be advisable for several months after surgery, such as manual labor or other strenuous activities. Your surgeon can give you specific guidelines based on your health situation. Always follow your doctor’s advice to optimize your recovery and prevent re-injury. Physical therapy and a nutritious diet may aid in your recovery.

How BPC Can Help

If you’re looking for a solution to your neck or back pain, Back Centers of America (BPC) can help. We can match you with a qualified board-certified specialist who can provide the care you deserve. Our doctors are well-versed in all the latest surgical practices including stem cell therapy, minimally invasive and laser spine surgery and artificial disc replacement. Call us today at [sc name=”patient_phone_number_dash”] to take the first step–life awaits.

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