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Category: Artificial Disc Replacement

January 2024

Mid back pain, a common ailment that affects a vast majority of the adult population at some point in their lives, can stem from a variety of causes including poor posture, muscle strain, or more serious conditions like herniated discs. As we delve into this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything from the common symptoms of […]

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Artificial Disc Replacement

Artificial Disc Replacement
Artificial Disc Replacement

Are you ready to bid farewell to relentless neck or back discomfort? Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR) emerges as a viable solution, offering a promising alternative to conventional spinal fusion surgeries by replacing troublesome discs with an artificial counterpart. This procedure not only promises significant pain relief but also maintains spinal flexibility.

Despite the potential risks inherent in any surgical procedure, complications with ADR, such as infection or implant issues, remain relatively uncommon and are diligently mitigated by experienced spine surgeons.

If you aspire to reclaim your daily routines minus the burden of pain, ADR stands as a compelling option. Let’s explore whether this avenue aligns with your unique health requirements and lifestyle.

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What Does Artificial Disc Replacement Treat?

ADR primarily treats conditions stemming from issues with intervertebral discs, particularly chronic pain in the cervical spine that hasn’t responded to other treatments. One of the primary conditions treated is degenerative disc disease, where the disc deteriorates or breaks down, leading to pain, weakness, or numbness. The procedure involves removing the damaged disc and replacing it with an artificial one, which can significantly alleviate the symptoms associated with the damaged disc.

Procedure Process and Effectiveness

Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR) offers significant improvement in pain relief and mobility for many patients with severe disc-related issues. The procedure involves three key stages:

  1. Preparation: Doctors use MRI and flexion extension X-rays of the cervical spine to evaluate spinal health and select a compatible artificial disc, ensuring that the chosen disc matches the patient’s spinal anatomy precisely.
  2. Surgery: Performed under general anesthesia, the surgery includes removing the damaged disc from either the neck or lower back, inserting a custom-fitted artificial disc, and closing the incision with surgical precision.
  3. Recovery: Patients typically spend a few days in the hospital for initial recovery, followed by pain management and physical therapy to enhance recovery and monitor the disc’s function.

ADR‘s effectiveness is notable, with satisfaction rates often exceeding 80%, significantly reducing pain and restoring spinal mobility. However, the costs of this surgical procedure can vary widely, generally ranging from $35,000 to $100,000, influenced by the procedure’s complexity and geographical factors.

 

9 Common Problems with Artificial Disc Replacement

While artificial disc replacement surgery offers numerous benefits for spine health, especially in the cervical spine areas, it also comes with potential complications. Here are the common issues that patients experience:

#1 Infection

Infections following artificial disc replacement can manifest as redness, swelling, pain, or discharge at the incision area. More severe cases may involve the infection spreading to the artificial disc itself, potentially leading to systemic symptoms such as fever or chills. Treatment options typically involve antibiotics, but severe infections may require additional spine surgery to remove infected tissue or the implant.

#2 Implant Failure

Implant failure in disc arthroplasty can result from mechanical wear and tear, improper placement during surgery, or the body’s inability to integrate the implant. This may lead to pain, decreased mobility, or the necessity for revision surgery to replace or reposition the disc.

#3 Spinal Stenosis

Development of spinal stenosis after artificial disc replacement involves the narrowing of the spinal canal, which can compress the spinal cord or nerve roots. This condition often leads to symptoms like pain, numbness, or weakness in the legs or arms, and may require further treatment to alleviate the nerve compression.

#4 Adjacent Segment Disease

Adjacent segment disease occurs when the vertebrae adjacent to the site of an artificial disc replacement experience increased stress and begin to degenerate. This additional load can lead to conditions similar to those which necessitated the disc replacement initially, such as pain and reduced spinal mobility, potentially requiring further surgical interventions.

#5 Neck Pain

Some patients may continue to experience neck pain or develop new pain after artificial disc replacement. This discomfort can be a result of the body adjusting to the artificial disc, inflammation from the surgical procedure, or unresolved spinal issues.

#6 Nerve Injury

The precision required in artificial disc replacement poses a risk of accidental nerve damage. This can happen if surgical tools inadvertently nick or compress nerves near the surgical site. Such injuries can cause symptoms ranging from mild sensory disturbances to more severe motor deficits, depending on the nerve affected.

#7 Dysphagia

Commonly associated with cervical disc replacement, dysphagia is a complication where patients experience difficulty swallowing due to temporary edema or trauma to the esophageal area during surgery. Symptoms typically diminish over time but can significantly impact nutrition and quality of life if persistent.

#8 Paresthesia

Patients might experience paresthesia post-artificial disc replacement, characterized by sensations like tingling, ‘pins and needles’, or numbness. This is often due to the disruption or irritation of nerves during the disc replacement, and while usually temporary, it can be disconcerting.

#9 Heterotopic Ossification

This condition involves abnormal bone growth in non-skeletal tissues, which can occur around the implant site after disc replacement. Heterotopic ossification can compromise the success of the surgery by limiting spinal mobility and possibly leading to unintended fusion at the affected segment.

 

Who is a Candidate for Artificial Disc Replacement?

Candidates for ADR are typically individuals with persistent neck or back pain due to degenerative disc disease who have not found relief through other treatments. Ideal candidates are those without significant joint disease, osteoporosis, or spinal deformities. Factors such as the patient’s age, overall health, and the severity of symptoms are considered to determine eligibility for the surgery.

 

To Sum Up

Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR) is your pathway to overcoming chronic neck and back pain, all while keeping your spine flexible. This procedure can be a life-changer, but it’s not just about the surgery; it involves understanding the risks, potential complications, and ensuring you’re a good candidate.

Before taking the leap, it’s essential to consult with seasoned spine surgeons who can guide you through the benefits and risks, tailoring the approach to your specific needs. Detailed insights about the procedure, recovery expectations, and how to navigate potential challenges are just a consultation away.

Ready to take the next step towards a pain-free life? Dive deeper into what ADR can offer you. Fill out our evaluation form today and set up a consultation to explore your options. This could be your moment to reclaim your life from pain.

 

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