Artificial disc replacement is intended to replace a bad disc that is causing pain due to aging or degenerating disc disease with a mobile artificial disc. Artificial discs are usually made of metal or plastic-like (biopolymer) materials, or a combination of the two. Rather than removing the disc and fusing the vertebrae together, which is what takes place in a spinal fusion, the artificial disc allows the spine to maintain its natural mobility and theoretically prevents abnormal motion or stress on adjacent spinal segments.
How Does this Procedure work?
Dr. Raskas will make a 1 to 2 inch incision (depending on the number of spinal discs that need to be replaced) in your abdomen and will gently move muscle and large blood vessels to the side. He will use special retractors in order to see the anterior aspect of the intervertebral discs.
Dr. Raskas will use an x-ray to confirm that the appropriate spinal level(s) is identified, then he will remove the worn, degenerated disc(s), replacing it with an artificial disc which adds cushion between the vertebrae and stabilizes the spine.
Because every patient is unique and treatment options range from minimally invasive back surgery to advanced surgical procedures, recovery varies greatly among his patients and is dependent on the extent of your surgery, age and health.
For more information about a lumbar artificial disc replacement or other spinal surgery options to treat back pain, contact Dr. David S. Raskas at 314-442-4452.