The spinal cord is a vital component of the human body, responsible for a range of functions that include mobility, flexibility, and coordination. However, factors such as aging, injury, and disease can impact spinal cord health and mobility, leading to chronic pain, discomfort, and limited movement. In recent years, advances in medical technology have led to the development of artificial discs, which replace the natural discs in the spinal cord.
Let’s explore how artificial discs improve spinal cord health and mobility and where you can go for outstanding back surgery in Lone Tree, CO.
What are Artificial Discs?
Artificial discs are mechanical devices that replace injured, harmful discs in the spine of a patient. They are designed to mimic the movement and function of the disc naturally. Spinal discs act as shock absorbers in the backbone, cushioning the vertebrae and preventing them from grinding against each other. However, once they degenerate, either through an injury or aging, they can cause severe back pain, herniation, stiffness, or even nerve damage. That’s when spinal surgeons use artificial discs to restore movement and reduce pain.
Artificial discs improve spinal cord health and mobility by restoring the natural function of the spinal cord. They provide stability and support for the spine, improving flexibility and range of motion. In addition, artificial discs reduce the risk of adjacent-level disease, which can develop when removing damaged discs impacts healthy discs. This can lead to chronic pain and reduced mobility.
There are several types of artificial discs that are currently available. These include the ball and socket design, the hinge design, and the elastomeric design. The ball and socket design is the most commonly used and mimics the motion of the natural spine by allowing for flexion and extension. The hinge design is used to limit motion in certain areas of the spine, while the elastomeric design uses a rubber-like material to mimic the natural flexibility of the spinal cord.
Benefits Of Artificial Discs
One of the primary benefits of artificial discs is that they allow for improved mobility and function. Patients who have undergone artificial cervical disc replacement surgery can often return to their normal activities with minimal pain or discomfort.
In addition, artificial discs have a lower risk of complications than traditional spinal fusion surgery, which involves fusing two or more vertebrae. Other benefits of artificial discs include:
- Faster recovery times.
- Reduced risk of adjacent level disease.
- Preservation of normal spinal motion.
While artificial discs are generally considered safe, there are some risks and considerations that patients should be aware of. These include the potential for device failure, infection, and nerve damage. In addition, not all patients are suitable candidates for artificial disc replacement surgery. Factors such as age, overall health, and the extent of spinal cord damage will be considered by the physician when determining if artificial discs are the best treatment option.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery
Artificial disc replacement surgery is a relatively new procedure offering hope to many people suffering from chronic back pain. However, before you undergo this surgery, you must sit down with your doctor and ask them critical questions to ensure you make the right decision.
1. What is the success rate of artificial disc replacement surgery?
Before undergoing any surgery, it is essential to know the success rate of the procedure. Ask your doctor what percentage of patients have had a successful outcome following this surgery. The success rate of artificial disc replacement surgery varies depending on the patient’s condition, age, and overall health. However, a skilled surgeon can give you an honest assessment of your individual chances of success.
2. What are the potential risks and complications?
All surgeries come with potential risks and complications, and artificial disc replacement surgery is no exception. Ask your doctor to give you a complete overview of the possible complication spins that you may experience following the surgery. By knowing what to expect, you can make an informed decision about whether to undergo the procedure.
3. Am I a good candidate for artificial disc replacement surgery?
Not everyone is a candidate for artificial disc replacement surgery. Ask your doctor if you are a good candidate for this surgery. Factors that can impact your candidacy include your age, overall health, and the severity and location of the herniation. Your doctor will be able to review your medical history and determine whether you are the right candidate for the surgery.
Recovery After Artificial Disc Replacement
During the initial recovery phase, you might experience postoperative pain at the surgical site. Your surgeon might prescribe pain medications to manage the pain. You will also be advised to move around slowly and avoid bending or twisting your back. You will need to wear a back brace to support your back, and your surgeon might recommend a physiotherapy regimen that helps improve mobility and flexibility. Your rehabilitation will likely begin with a physical therapy program.
Your surgeon will also give you instructions on how to care for your surgical incision area. You will need to keep the wound site clean and dry to prevent infections. Your surgeon will advise you on when to shower or bathe. You will be able to return to your usual hygiene routine once the incision site is completely healed.
The long-term recovery phase will last for more than six months, and during this phase, you will need to continue your physician-recommended therapy program. It is essential to follow the instructions given by your surgeon, physiotherapist, and healthcare team members. It would be best if you also had realistic expectations about the outcomes of your artificial disc replacement. While the surgery can enhance your mobility and reduce pain, you might need to make lifestyle changes to protect your spine in the long run.
Back Surgery in Lone Tree, CO
Do you need back surgery in Lone Tree, CO? Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery is here to help you undergo the best treatment for your condition. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained spine surgeons and neurosurgeons have years of experience in diagnosing and treating a full range of nerve or spine conditions and injuries. We use advanced techniques and procedures, including minimally invasive surgical procedures, to treat your neck pain, spine, or nerve condition.
If you have questions about back surgery or our services, you may call our helpful staff at (303) 790-1800. You can also book a visit with our providers using our secure online appointment request form.