If your doctor has told you that you have a herniated disc or a damaged disc in your spine, then the physician may also have recommended that you consider having the disc replaced with an artificial disc. You may be wondering whether this type of back surgery is worth it.
Let’s talk about what artificial disc replacement is, how long the prosthetic disc can be expected to last, and where you can go in Colorado Springs to see an outstanding spine surgeon who can take care of your back pain – and get your back to working for you again.
What Is Artificial Disc Replacement?
An artificial disc replacement, also known as disc arthroplasty or total disc replacement, involves the removal of a damaged spinal disc and replacing it with a prosthetic disc. The primary goal of this procedure is to treat back pain or neck pain that’s caused by a damaged spinal disc and enable your back to move normally again without causing pain.
If the following criteria describe you, then an artificial disc replacement might be an ideal solution for you:
- Only one or two spinal discs are causing your pain.
- You have one disc that’s been causing pain for more than six months.
- You don’t have a joint disease or nerve compression in the spine.
- You aren’t overweight.
- You haven’t had spine surgery before.
- You don’t have scoliosis or other spinal deformities.
How Long Can I Expect a Prosthetic Spinal Disc to Last?
There have been significant advances in the materials, engineering, and implantation techniques used in artificial discs over the past decade. Initial medical studies show favorable results regarding the durability of these disc components thus far.
In fact, some studies examining the artificial disc’s durability at intervals of five and 10 years after implantation suggest that they’re still functioning at near-optimal levels. It is therefore estimated that artificial disc replacements could last a minimum of 40 years, and likely much longer for most patients.
The material used for the artificial disc plays an important role in its effectiveness and lifespan. While it has to be durable, it must also be safe to install into the human body without causing an allergic reaction or damaging nearby structures.
Compared to spinal fusion, there’s a lesser chance of needing another surgery in the future. Plus, the technology for artificial discs is constantly advancing. With this in mind, we can safely assume that the long-term outcomes of artificial disc replacement will only continue to improve.
How Can I Increase the Lifespan of My Artificial Disc?
There are many things that you can do to prolong the lifespan of your artificial disc, including the following:
- Maintain a healthy weight to reduce stress on your spine.
- Continue to follow your physical therapy or exercise program and recommendations.
- Observe proper posture, and avoid being too sedentary.
- Eat nutrient-rich foods, and stay hydrated.
- Invest in a good mattress and pillow that support your back and neck.
- Wear supportive shoes, including possibly using orthotics to reduce pressure on your back when standing and walking.
- Avoid smoking.
Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery in Colorado Springs
Many patients continue to see optimal, long-term results after having an artificial disc replacement to address their chronic back pain. If you’d like to find out whether you’re a good candidate for an artificial disc replacement, or whether another treatment would work for you, the experienced medical team at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery can help you.
Our skilled and highly qualified neurosurgeons use the latest technologies in spine care to offer artificial disc replacement surgery with little to no risk. We use high-quality disc implants that are carefully selected to fit your needs.
If you have any questions about artificial disc replacement, contact us today at (303) 790-1800 or fill out our online form now to request a consultation. We look forward to keeping your spine healthy and pain-free!