When it comes to dealing with chronic spinal pain, many patients exploring treatment options come across artificial disc replacement. But what is an artificial disc? How does this procedure work, and when might it be necessary or beneficial for a patient’s care?
Let’s learn more about artificial discs, how they can offer relief from persistent back pain, and where you can go for effective pain management in Colorado Springs, CO.
What Are Artificial Discs and How Do They Work?
Artificial discs, also known as artificial intervertebral discs, are surgically implanted in a patient’s spine to replace damaged or diseased discs. These artificial discs mimic the functions of natural discs in the spine, allowing for improved flexibility and range of motion. They are made of materials such as plastic or metal and are designed to withstand the complex movements of the spine while maintaining stability. Artificial discs have become a popular alternative to traditional spinal fusion surgery, as they allow for a faster recovery time and fewer restrictions on physical activity.
Benefits of Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery
The benefits of artificial disc replacement include:
- Improved flexibility and range of motion
- Reduced back pain, neck pain, and sciatica-like symptoms
- Long-term relief from chronic conditions such as degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, and spinal stenosis
- Minimal scarring with laparoscopic techniques
Potential Risks and Complications of the Procedure
Like any surgical procedure, artificial disk replacement surgery comes with potential risks. While complications are rare, some patients may experience implant failure, infection, nerve damage, or bleeding. In addition, the long-term effects of the surgery are still unknown, and patients are advised to continue monitoring their spinal health after the procedure. Despite its risks, artificial disc replacement surgery has the potential to improve a patient’s quality of life greatly and may be a good option for those suffering from chronic back pain.
FAQs About Artificial Discs
If you are considering artificial disc replacement surgery, you probably have a few questions about the procedure. Here are some frequently asked questions that may ease your concerns.
- What is an artificial disc? It is a spinal implant that replaces a damaged or diseased spinal disc. How long does the surgery take? Generally, the surgery takes between 2-3 hours.
- What is the recovery process like? Recovery time varies but usually takes 6-12 weeks, with physical therapy starting as early as 2 weeks post-surgery.
- Will I be able to move normally after the surgery? You should be able to resume your normal activities, but you may need to avoid certain activities that put a strain on your spine. It is always best to consult with your doctor regarding your specific case.
- How long does the artificial disc last? Studies have shown that they can last up to 20 years or more. Again, it is best to discuss with your doctor all of your questions and concerns regarding artificial disc replacement surgery.
Spine Surgery in Colorado Springs, CO
Are you in pain due to a spine problem? Waste no time and receive the innovative and comprehensive treatment you need at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery. Our team of board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons uses advanced techniques and procedures to provide treatment that offers the best outcomes. Should you desire to get back on your feet faster after surgery, our spine surgeon can use a minimally invasive approach after a thorough evaluation.