Going for back surgery can be an overwhelming decision to make. Surgery is only recommended when less-invasive measures have not worked to alleviate the pain or disability in your back.
If you have chronic back pain, your doctor may tell you that you have two main options: spinal fusion or artificial disc replacement. Let’s talk about each of these procedures and how they work to alleviate back pain for good.
What Is Spinal Fusion?
Spinal fusion is the permanent fusing of two or more adjacent vertebrae in your back. Fusion enables these bones to heal together into one single bone in order to finally eliminate the pain you’ve been experiencing from the spinal bones rubbing against each other.
This surgery stabilizes the spine and eliminates motion in that one section of the back. Plus, thanks to technological advancements, patients now have the option to undergo a minimally invasive spinal fusion procedure. In minimally invasive surgery, only small incisions are required, the hospital stay is short, and there is a low risk of infection.
What Is Artificial Disc Replacement?
Similarly to spinal fusion, artificial disc replacement also relieves severe back pain. However, instead of fusing bones together, the painful disc is removed and replaced with an artificial disc implant (prosthetic disc).
Because you have a brand-new disc in your spine, you can maintain your range of motion in that part of the back. The artificial disc becomes a fully functional part of your vertebrae.
Candidates for disc replacement surgery are patients whose back pain is due to disc problems rather than vertebral problems. They should have no spinal deformity, no previous major spine surgery, and be of a healthy weight.
Choosing the Best Option for You
Let’s summarize and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each of these two types of back surgery:
- Permanent resolution of back pain
- The pain has no chance of returning in the same location of the back
Artificial Disc Replacement
- Maintains your natural range of motion in the back
- Shorter recovery time than after spinal fusion surgery
Spine Surgery in Denver and Colorado Springs
To find out more about spinal treatments to reduce or eliminate back pain, contact the medical team at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery today. We offer complete and comprehensive treatment at several locations across Colorado.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with one of our neurosurgeons, contact us today by calling us at (303) 790-1800 or request an appointment now via our online form. We look forward to helping you get back to the active lifestyle you love!