The FDA approval of artificial disc replacement in 2004, helped revolutionize the way orthopedic physicians address back pain. According to studies, at any given time, 15% to 20% of adults experience back pain. An additional 10% to 20% report having neck pain symptoms. In addition to resolving pain and discomfort, artificial disc replacement has restored the natural mobility of the lumbar and cervical spine for many patients.
At EmergeOrtho–Triangle Region, we do more than address back, neck and spine pain. Our EmergeOrtho–Triangle Region physicians and surgeons utilize sophisticated, innovative approaches to help patients Emerge Stronger. Healthier. Better. We get down to root causes and conditions to establish personalized solutions.
Lumbar and cervical spine artificial disc replacement are one of the many ways we encourage rapid recovery and elimination of unwanted symptoms.
What Is Artificial Disc Replacement?
Prior to the option of artificial disc replacement, surgeons largely relied upon spinal fusion. Rather than replacing a damaged disc with an artificial one, spinal fusion surgery fuses two or more vertebrae together with the intent of creating one, single solid bone.
Although spinal fusion eliminates pain by restricting the movement of the spine, the natural outcome is most often the loss of flexibility.
Artificial discs bypass mobility restriction of the spine due to their unique design. Depending on what type of artificial disc it is—lumbar or cervical—the shape, size, and function are meant to replicate the natural vertebrae of the spine as closely as possible. This is what enables artificial discs to mimic the true flexible properties of the spine.
Artificial Lumbar Disc Replacement
Discs in the spine can become worn over time or injured in an accident and cause significant pain. If conservative treatment has not been successful in reducing lower back pain, surgery may be recommended. In artificial lumbar disc replacement, the surgeon removes the damaged and diseased disc and surrounding bone spurs. An artificial disc is used to replace the damaged vertebrae.
The majority of patients experience relief of pain and restoration of movement a few weeks or months following lumbar disc replacement.
Artificial Cervical Spine Replacement
EmergeOrtho–Triangle Region has been regionally recognized for offering cutting-edge approaches in artificial cervical spine replacement. In fact, an EmergeOrtho–Triangle Region surgeon performed the first-ever artificial cervical disc replacement surgery in North Carolina.
Our team performed artificial cervical spine surgery utilizing the M6-C artificial cervical disc. Even though the process of artificial cervical spine replacement is fairly new, studies have shown that the M6-C, restores movement and potentially minimizes stress to supporting discs and other spinal structures. Many patients have even discontinued prescribed pain medication following full recovery from artificial cervical spine replacement.
Could You Benefit From Artificial Disc Replacement?
A neck, spine and back specialist will perform a consultation and examination to ultimately determine if artificial disc replacement is right for you.
Your orthopedic physician will likely conduct a combination of diagnostic tests. Sometimes X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans are used to evaluate the damage and confirm the need for artificial disc replacement.
Other criteria that orthopedic surgeons consider in whether a patient qualifies for artificial disc replacement surgery include:
- Ineffective healing from conservative treatment methods to address pain
- Problematic intervertebral disc or discs that produce back pain
- Significant facet joint disease or bony compression on spinal nerves are not present
- Deformity of the spine is not present (such as scoliosis)
- Obesity is not a factor
- Major surgery has not been previously performed on the spine
If you have been dealing with lumbar or cervical spine pain, do not wait to seek treatment—schedule a consultation now. Or, call us any time at 919-220-5255.