Artificial disc replacement or disc arthroplasty is a very popular procedure among Americans to cure severe and persistent neck or back pain. It is thetreatment of last resort for neck or back pain and is considered an alternative to spinal fusion.
Let’s talk about what artificial disc replacement is, the history of artificial disc replacement surgery, and where you can go for artificial disc replacement surgery in Colorado Springs.
Artificial Disc Replacement: What is it?
Artificial disc replacement is a surgical procedure in which a degenerated or damaged disc of the spinal column is removed and replaced with an artificial disc made of plastic, ceramic, or some metal.
The artificial disc restores the normal disc alignment, height, and bio mechanics without fusing the spine. The disc is designed to move with the spine, restoring your spine’s range of motion so that you can move again normally without experiencing any pain.
The artificial disc replacement procedure can be performed in the lumbar and cervical spine and can be done as an outpatient procedure.
History of Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery
Artificial disc replacement procedures have been successfully performed in America since the year 2000;however, the procedure first originated in Europe approximately 30 years ago (in the 1990s).
Early research in the development of artificial disc replacement began when the advent of total hip replacement revolutionized the field of orthopedics in the 1960’s. Despite early research and interest in artificial disc replacement, spinal fusion remained the gold-standard back pain treatment until the 1990s.
In the 1990s, because of the complications associated with lumber spinal fusion, European experts started to take an interest in artificial disc replacement surgery again and performed the disc arthroplasty procedure.
In 2004, The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved artificial discs to treat pain associated with degenerative disc disease. However, the disc was approved to be used at one level (from lumbar 4 to sacral 1).
In 2015, the FDA approved another disc, called the activL artificial disc, that lets the surgeon choose from different sizes and has been found to be effective in the long term. By 2021, there are 3 FDA-approved lumber total disc replacement devices and 8 cervical disc replacement devices.
Artificial Disc Replacement in Colorado Springs
At Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, our highly trained, experienced, and compassionate spine surgeons offer artificial disc replacement surgery to relieve your neck or back pain. In addition to surgical procedures, our providers also offer nonsurgical and minimally invasive procedures.