Artificial disc replacement is one of the most promising surgical options to relieve neck and back pain due to disc disease. An artificial disc is a device that functions like your natural disc but is made of metal, ceramics, or other material.
If you’re contemplating artificial disc replacement surgery, collecting information about artificial discs and doing research can be stressful and challenging for you. So, a spine surgeon is a person who can guide you through the artificial disc selection process and provide recommendations based on your spine anatomy and condition.
Let’s take a look into some common types of artificial discs, how your spine surgeon can help you choose the best artificial disc for your spine problem, and where you can go in Colorado Springs for spine-related problems and treatments.
Types Of Artificial Discs
Generally, the best artificial disc is the one that does not cause an allergic reaction, is durable, allows a full range of motion and stability, and can maintain proper intervertebral spacing.
Here are some types of artificial discs that are commonly used during disc replacement surgery.
A composite disc is one of the most widely used artificial discs to date. It is made of a polyethylene spacer, two separate end plates of different sizes, and a ring. The composite discs (CHARITÉ Artificial Disc) have been approved by the FDA to treat the pain associated with degenerative disc disease.
Hydraulic Artificial Discs
This type of disc consists of a tightly woven polyethylene jacket filled with a gel-like core. The hydrogel core of the disc is pressed and dehydrated before implanting it to minimize its size. Once implanted, the core absorbs the fluid and expands.
This type of disc is made of a rubber core bonded to two titanium endplates. The rubber core is prone to tear; therefore, an artificial disc made of silicone core is recommended for testing.
The mechanical discs have been developed for the lumber spine. The device is usually made of metal-hinged plates with an interposed spring. It can also be made of a polyethylene core and metal endplates with two vertical wings.
How Can Spine Surgeon Help You Choose the Best Artificial Disc?
Before recommending an artificial disc, your spine surgeon performs a thorough assessment to determine if you qualify for a disc replacement procedure. For this, your surgeon may consider the location of the problem, the severity of symptoms, the presence of the bone spur, and your age. Your spine surgeon may also order diagnostic tests, such as a discogram to determine your disc level causing pain.
Then, your spine surgeon recommends the type of artificial disc. For this, they take into account several factors, including:
- Your age
- Allergies to disc material
- The type of activity you hope to return to
- The life expectancy of artificial disc
- The ability of the artificial disc to withstand a certain amount of weight
- Size of the disc so that it can accommodate patients’ height and spacing needs
- Material of artificial disc (commonly a disc material that can be easily seen on an x-ray or other imaging test is selected)
Artificial Discs in Colorado Springs
The artificial disc offers long-term relief from the pain associated with a spine problem. At Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, we offer a full range of nonsurgical and surgical treatments, including disc replacement surgery. Our highly qualified spine surgeons not only help you choose the best artificial disc unique to your needs but also use the latest technologies to ensure the success of the surgery with little to no risk.