One of the most common conditions we treat is low back pain. Though some may be caused by a muscle strain, sleeping wrong, or trauma, it may also be caused by an underlying condition such as degenerative disc disease or a herniated disc. Regardless of the cause, we at American Neurospine Institute PLLC, are here to treat the source of your pain and get you back to feeling great.
The discs between vertebrae act as shock absorbers for your spine, and as you age, they begin to lose flexibility. While this is a normal part of aging, it should not cause pain. If you experience pain due to this, it is classified as degenerative disc disease.
Each disc is composed of a sturdy outer wall and a soft, gel-like inner core. When we are born, these discs are primarily composed of water, but as age advances, the discs lose some of this water content and begin to get thinner. As you might imagine, this means each disc doesn’t absorb the shocks of everyday life as well.
This process also makes the disc prone to developing cracks and tears. These changes in your discs can cause the disc to bulge out or protrude and press against nearby nerves which can cause a variety of sensations ranging from numbness, limited mobility, muscle weakness, tingling, and radiating pain that may extend down the neck into the shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers. If this occurs, this condition is known as a herniated or bulging disc.
When a herniated disc occurs or a disc becomes worn, your doctor may recommend replacing it with an artificial disk to alleviate pain and restore proper function to the area. This is a common spinal surgery but is considered major and requires anesthesia and for you to stay at the hospital for some time.
It is important to note, surgery is only recommended once all conservative options have been tested and exhausted with no significant improvement in condition for several months.
During this surgery, an incision is made to allow access to your spine and the damaged disc is removed and replaced with an artificial one. After which, you are closely monitored for several days to ensure the success of the surgery.
Like all surgeries, there are some associated risks such as infection, dislocation of the disc, implant failure, and stiffness. There are other risks that may be associated with your specific condition, but these risks will be discussed during your consultation to ensure disc replacement is the right treatment option for you.
During your recovery, movement will be limited, and physical therapy will be required to help keep your spine limber during the healing process. The average length of recovery can be several months before you are able to fully enjoy and resume normal activities with ease.
This surgery can significantly improve pain but may not limit it completely. During your consultation, we will talk about your expectations and realistic results for this procedure. For more information on disc replacement and our services or to schedule a consultation, contact American Neurospine Institute, PLLC at (972) 806-1168.