Lumbar Disc Replacement
Lumbar Disc Replacement Overview
Lumbar spine or lower back pain is a common problem for many patients. A diseased or damaged disc is often the cause of lower back pain. Nonsurgical treatment options treat most diseased or damaged discs and their symptoms; however, surgery is sometimes recommended.
Lumbar disc replacement is an excellent procedure because it treats the removes the disc and replaces it with a new one. Full range of motion is restored after recovery. Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates’ (CONA) spine specialists are lumbar disc replacement experts.
How is lumbar disc replacement performed?
A lumbar disc replacement is performed under general anesthesia. After the patient is completely asleep, a CONA spine specialist:
- Begins surgery. Muscles and soft tissues are gently retracted.
- Removes the disc. The inner part of the disc is carefully removed. The disc’s outer wall is left intact.
- Replaces the disc. An artificial disc implant is inserted into the intervertebral space. The implant rests against the disc wall.
- Ends surgery. Tissue layers and skin are closed. A sterile dressing is applied to the surgical site.
Total procedure time is usually about 2 hours.
What conditions can lumbar disc replacement treat?
Lumbar disc replacement may be recommended to treat:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
Lumbar disc replacement only treats one vertebral level. Multi-level disc damage may require a spinal fusion procedure.
What are lumbar disc replacement advantages?
Lower back pain is dramatically reduced shortly after the procedure. After a complete recovery is made, full range of motion is restored.
What is lumbar disc replacement recovery like?
Post-surgery hospital staff monitor and control discomfort after the procedure. Lumbar disc replacement recovery instructions are given to patients before surgery and during follow-up appointments. Physical therapy is an important part of recovery. Patients work one-on-one with a physical therapist to gain strength and flexibility.