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Understanding Disc Replacement and Recovery After Surgery

Jun 22, 2017

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Chronic back or neck pain can steal the joy from life’s everyday moments, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Today, advances in medical technology and surgical techniques make it possible to experience relief much more quickly than the treatments of the recent past. If you’re suffering from damaged or degenerative discs and nonsurgical options have failed to relieve your pain, disc replacement may be the answer you’re seeking.

Benefits of Disc Replacement

If you’re suffering from chronic neck or back pain due to degenerative disc disease or another spinal condition resulting from illness or injury, disc replacement (ACD) is one option for treatment once conservative measures fail.

Minimally invasive spinal fusion is the most common solution for patients experiencing chronic pain from injury or degenerative conditions, but generally, requires a longer recovery time than ACD. When suffering from pain related to a herniated disc, discectomy (surgical disc removal) is a recommended treatment.

In recent studies, disc replacement has been shown to be more effective than ACDF and fusion procedures in treating certain spinal conditions. In military patients, disc replacement boasts an 80% success rate.

These treatments can greatly improve the patient’s range of motion and may alleviate pain altogether. Your surgeon can advise you on a realistic long-term outlook regarding pain levels during and after recovery.

Not all patients will qualify for disc replacement, so ask your doctor if disc replacement is right for you.

Disc Replacement: Understanding The Procedure

Depending on the spinal region treated, disc replacement is performed through a minuscule incision on the neck or back that measures about an inch. The surgeon then removes the damaged disc and uses a special instrument to smooth away any bone spurs. Next, the surgeon places the artificial disc in the space and anchors it in place before closing the incision and dressing the area treated. After the procedure, you’ll be monitored, and most patients return home after a short 1-2 day hospital stay including working with a physical therapist.

The Recovery Process

Disc replacement recovery generally takes upwards of six weeks; however, some activities may be restricted for several months following surgery to prevent injury. Your surgeon will advise you on what’s reasonable to expect, given your health snapshot. Always follow your surgeon’s advice on daily exercise, nutritious foods, care for your surgical site and be sure to keep all follow-up appointments to ensure your recovery is as swift as possible.

For more information on artificial disc replacement call us today at [sc name=”patient_phone_number_dash”] to speak with us about your treatment options and to be matched with a board-certified spine specialist who can provide you with the expert care you need.

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Did you know?

over 87 million people suffer
from back pain

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