Chronic back pain affects over 16 million adults. It is one of the most common conditions limiting human function. When conservative methods no longer work to relieve your pain, your doctor may suggest artificial disc replacement. During this procedure, your surgeon will replace one or two of your spinal discs with metal or plastic discs.
Before discussing the details of the surgery, your doctor will review your medical history and assess several factors to ascertain if you are a suitable candidate.
You Have Localized Lower Back Pain and Nonsurgical Methods Don’t Work
Lower back pain typically results from a strained muscle, osteoporosis, damaged discs, or arthritis. Ample rest, medications, and physical therapy may help with most of these conditions. However, if nonsurgical options do not work for you, and if your pain is coming from 1 or 2 discs in your spine, your doctor may recommend surgery.
You Are Within a Healthy Weight Range
Being overweight is one of the risk factors for lumbar disc diseases. Although overweight patients may successfully relieve their pain after the surgery, considerable repercussions may still occur. Studies show that patients over the healthy weight range who undergo artificial disc replacement have a higher risk of postoperative complications. These include venous thromboembolism and infection. If you’re overweight or obese, you should consult your doctor about the possible risks of the surgery. Your doctor may recommend losing weight prior to the procedure.
You Have No Spinal Deformities
You may experience back pain because of spinal deformities. If this is the case, your doctor may recommend other treatment options other than an artificial disc replacement. Moreover, the surgery poses a risk of complications that can affect the spine of patients with deformities. These include a loosened implant, implant fracture or failure, or a dislocated artificial disc. If you have a spinal deformity, your surgeon may instead recommend a spinal fusion.
You Don’t Have Compressed Nerves or an Underlying Joint Disease
Spinal nerve compression may result in back pain. Your spinal discs may rupture and compress a nerve because of overuse or degeneration. This condition is called a herniated disc. If this your case, your doctor may remove the disc’s protruding part instead of replacing the disc itself.
Arthritis is also one of the leading causes of lower back pain. If you have arthritis, your doctor may suggest treatment methods other than artificial disc replacement first. Treatment for arthritis includes medication and physical therapy.
In addition to having other treatment options, the possible risks of artificial disc replacement may outweigh the need for the surgery. Risks such as spinal stenosis, stiffness of the spine, poorly positioned implant, implant failure, and infection may add to your other back conditions and cause complications.
Artificial Disc Replacement in Lone Tree, CO
If you have back pain caused by degenerated discs that can’t be resolved with nonsurgical methods, you may be a good candidate for artificial disc replacement. Keep in mind that factors such as unhealthy weight, nerve compression, joint diseases, and deformities will help determine the best treatment for your condition.
Here at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, you can receive the best spinal care from our providers. We are committed to giving you quality treatment at our state-of-the-art facilities.
To get in touch with us, you may request an appointment through our secure online form, or call us at (303) 790-1800. We look forward to helping you stand tall and healthy again!