A person’s back consists of many different parts with different functions. One of these is the intervertebral discs, which are spongy cushions that both connect and separate the block-like bones of the spine. These discs also help protect the spinal cord.
Discs serve as shock absorbers; they act as strong ligaments that hold each set of two adjacent vertebrae together in the spine. Also, discs are somewhat flexible to allow for a certain amount of mobility in the spinal column.
Like any parts of the body, discs can also encounter problems. The symptoms can vary based on the location and the severity of the injury or inflammation, or they may show no signs at all.
If disc damage is causing chronic pain or is interfering with mobility, your doctor may recommend spinal surgery that involves replacing the original natural disc with an artificial disc. Let’s talk about what this entails.
Symptoms of Disc Problems
A patient may experience general signs, including:
- Back pain
- Pain radiating down the legs
- Worsening pain when bending over or sitting for a long time
- Pain when coughing or sneezing
- Numbness or pins-and-needles in the arm or leg
What Can Cause Spinal Disc Issues?
Risk factors that may trigger disc problems include:
- Poor muscle tone
- Lack of regular exercise
- Advancing age
- Cigarette smoking
- Poor posture
- Incorrect lifting techniques
When an Artificial Disc May Be Necessary
If a patient is suffering from a chronic disc condition such as degenerative disc disease, there are treatment options – one of which is implanting an artificial disc. This is a prosthetic device which is implanted into the spine to replace the damaged or inflamed disc.
Types of Discectomy
There are several types of disc replacement surgery, but it is usually total disc replacement. In this operation, most or all of the existing disc has worn down or degenerated, so it will be replaced by a full prosthetic disc. The doctor will implant the device into that space between the vertebrae
Implantation of artificial discs can be through the following surgical spine procedures:
- Anterior cervical discectomy
- Cervical disc arthroplasty/replacement
- Minimally invasive lumbar decompression
- Lumbar disc arthroplasty/replacement
Getting an artificial disc can provide greater flexibility, increased functionality and range of motion, limited transfer of stress to other discs, relief from pain, and better spinal stability.
Spine Surgeons and Neurosurgeons
If you are experiencing disc or back problems that are not going away, Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery is here for you. We specialize in advanced microsurgical treatments for various neurological and spinal conditions. Our surgeons practice comprehensive, patient-centered care for clients to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Dr. Michael Rauzzino is a board-certified neurosurgeon and an acknowledged expert both in surgical and nonsurgical treatment for spinal and intracranial disorders. Dr. Kevin Boyer is also a board-certified neurosurgeon who specializes in all aspects of cranial, spinal, peripheral nerve, and carotid artery surgery.
Call us today at (303) 790-1800. You can also fill out our form and schedule a consultation – we look forward to seeing you.