Artificial disc implants offer an effective solution for patients with degenerative disc conditions. This innovative treatment can provide many benefits when compared to more traditional procedures, such as spinal fusion surgery.
Degenerative disc disease is a chronic condition that can cause back and neck pain, along with other symptoms, such as numbness and tingling in the arms or legs, pain that radiates into the buttocks and legs, and reduced mobility. The condition develops when the discs that help separate and cushion the spinal bones (vertebrae)wear away. This can cause bones to rub together, resulting in pain.
In the past, the most popular surgical treatment for severe disc degeneration was a spinal fusion, which involves connecting (fusing) two or more of the vertebrae together to improve stability in the spine and eliminate pain caused by movement in the spine. Although a spinal fusion can help enhance stability, it can sometimes lead to complications, such as no improvement in pain, limiting the range of motion in the spine, and putting more strain on neighboring areas of the spine near to the fused section. As a result, this may cause these areas to break down more quickly, resulting in the need for further surgery.
How Can Artificial Discs Help?
Artificial disc replacement surgery is an FDA-approved treatment that involves removing the worn and damaged spinal discs and replacing them with prosthetic (artificial) discs that simulate the function of the natural discs. This type of surgery aims to preserve normal motion in the spineand may be considered when conservative treatments have been fully explored and no longer help improve symptoms.
Over the years, with advances in technology, the design of artificial discs has continued to improve, making artificial disc devices more durable and better able to simulate the function of natural intervertebral discs.There are a variety of artificial disc designs available, such as discs made of metal, medical grade plastic, or a combination of materials. The type that is best for you will depend on your unique situation and your surgeon’s recommendations.
Benefits of Artificial Discs
Artificial discs offer a number of benefits to reduce symptoms associated with degenerative disc conditions. These include:
Provides Natural Movement in the Spine
Because artificial discs mimic those of natural discs, the treatment can provide greater flexibility, functionality, and range of motion in the spine when compared with more traditional surgeries, such as a spinal fusion, which prevents movement in sections of the spine.
Reduces Stress on Other Discs
Spinal fusion surgery can lead to stress on other areas of the spine, causing these discs to fail, which may lead to the need for more surgery in the future. However, due to the design of artificial discs, there is limited transference of stress onto the remaining discs, helping to preserve the spine and keep it functioning well.
Effective Pain Relief
Other surgeries, such as a spinal fusion surgery, can alleviate pain by reducing motion in the spine, but this is not always the case. Sometimes, patients feel little to no relief following spinal fusion surgery and because the surgery prevents normal motion in the spine, it can lead to discomfort or pain in other areas of the spine. Artificial disc replacement surgery aims to preserve normal motion in the spine and can offer effective relief of debilitating pain.
Greater Spinal Stability
As intervertebral discs deteriorate, it can make the spine unstable. This can lead to symptoms such as pain, particularly when lifting objects or when bending and straightening the back. It can also cause numbness, tingling,and pain that radiates to other parts of the body, such as the legs, buttocks, or arms. By replacing the damaged discs with artificial ones, it can help to stabilize the spine, improve function, and eliminate symptoms.
Artificial Discs in Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Parker, Aurora, and Castle Rock, Colorado
If you have a degenerative disc condition and are looking for an effective treatment solution, speak to the expert neurosurgeons at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery. We specialize in both surgical and non-surgical treatments for a wide range of neurological conditions. Our treatments include artificial disc implants, lumbar fusion, microdiscectomy (lumbar decompression), kyphoplasty/vertebroplasty, and other advanced microsurgical procedures.