As we age, nearly everyone experiences discomfort or pain in the lower back, leading to chronic pain and limited mobility. Suppose anti-inflammatory medications or non-surgical procedures such as epidurals, hot/cold therapy, facet blocks, and physical therapy are not working. In that case, your doctor may introduce you to artificial discs.
Doctors use artificial discs to replace damaged spinal discs, supporting the vertebrae and allowing you to bend forward, backward, and sideways. The implants are usually metal, plastic, or a combination.
What Conditions Do Artificial Discs Treat?
Many degenerative conditions can affect the discs in your spine, leading to chronic pain and reduced mobility. While several treatments are available, artificial discs may be an excellent option for some patients.
The treatment is called disc replacement surgery or disc arthroplasty. It involves removing the damaged disc and replacing it with an artificial one, relieving pain and restoring mobility.
Artificial discs treat conditions like:
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is the deterioration of the discs in the spine, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.
The condition often results from wear and tear but can also occur because of injury or disease. It is most common in people over the age of 40.
Doctors use artificial discs to replace damaged ones. Artificial discs can help relieve the pain and stiffness associated with degenerative disc disease and improve mobility.
Doctors perform the procedure by making an incision in the back, removing the damaged disc, and inserting the artificial disc into the freed space.
A herniated disc occurs when the outer layer of a disc ruptures, allowing the inner layer to bulge out. This condition can put pressure on the nerves nearby, leading to pain, numbness, and weakness.
Herniated discs are often the result of an injury, but they can also occur due to degenerative disc disease.
Artificial discs can help relieve pain and other symptoms that come with herniated discs. The procedure to treat this condition is similar to the one used to treat degenerative disc disease.
Spondylolisthesis occurs when one of the vertebrae in your spine slips out of place. That can put pressure on nerves and cause pain.
An injury often causes spondylolisthesis but can also result from degenerative disc disease.
Artificial discs can help relieve pain from spondylolisthesis. Using artificial discs can help you avoid the need for fusion surgery, a more invasive procedure. During spinal fusion, the doctor joins the adjacent vertebrae. With artificial disc replacement, you can still move your spine. That is because the artificial disc allows for a more natural range of motion.
If you experience any symptoms that suggest you may have a spine issue, your doctor may ask you to get one or more of the following diagnostic tests done to help determine a diagnosis:
- X-ray provides details of bone structures in the spine.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides detailed images of discs.
- Computed tomography (CT) scan provides detailed images of bone structures and is an alternative to those who cannot undergo MRI.
- Electromyography determines the cause of pain by testing the electrical activity of a nerve root.
These tests can help your doctor locate the damaged spinal disc and determine the condition causing your symptoms.
Artificial Discs In Colorado
Artificial discs can relieve pain and improve mobility. Doctors use them to treat spinal conditions like degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, and spondylolisthesis.
Artificial discs are usually metal and plastic, and providers design them to mimic the function of a natural, healthy disc. The surgery to place an artificial disc is relatively simple and typically an outpatient procedure.
We offer various surgical, therapeutic, and innovative neurological procedures and services at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery. Our highly skilled doctors draw on years of advanced training and innovative treatments as they center their practice around comprehensive patient care to help you achieve the best possible outcomes.
To know more, call us at (303) 790-1800 or use our easy-to-use online form to request an appointment today. We look forward to serving you.