Triangle Region residents live full and active lives. With all there is to offer in sports and recreation here, no one has time for back pain. Yet, lumbar degenerative disc disease, injuries, and other conditions of the spine can make outdoor activities uncomfortable, painful, and sometimes even impossible. When conservative treatment methods do not resolve low back pain and uncomfortable symptoms, lumbar total disc replacement surgery can help alleviate symptoms and restore mobility.
EmergeOrtho–Triangle Region’s Back, Neck, and Spine Team utilize sophisticated surgical techniques and approaches to resolve lumbar pain and discomfort. This includes innovative artificial disc replacement, bringing about positive outcomes and reduced recovery time.
Find out how to improve symptoms and get back into a life of motion.
Causes of Lumbar Spine Disc Pain and Candidates for Total Disc Replacement
According to research, 80% of adults will have lumbar spine pain at some point during their lifetime. The lumbar portion of the spine consists of five large vertebrae. Common causes of lumbar disc pain include:
Lumbar discs begin to deteriorate between the ages of 30 and 50, causing pain and discomfort.
Obesity and excess weight place stress on the back, compressing the spine and the spinal nerves leading to pain.
Pelvic changes and the extra weight during pregnancy can lead to back pain. Typically, this pain subsides on its own following delivery.
Certain genetic conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis can cause fusion of the spinal joints, causing back pain.
Jobs that involve heavy lifting, pulling, and pushing, can lead to low back issues, as can employment in sedentary-based jobs. Sitting for long periods of time can lead to poor posture. Eventually, this leads to pain.
Sports and activities that continue to stress the same muscles in the back cause soreness and pain.
There are also a number of orthopedic injuries, conditions and diseases that cause low back pain, which include:
- Disc Herniation
- Disc Tear
- Spinal Stenosis
- Inflammatory Diseases
Whenever possible, our orthopedic physicians treat conditions of the back, neck, and spine using conservative treatment approaches (for example, the RICE method, physical therapy, and medication). If non-surgical options fail to relieve symptoms, your orthopedic spine surgeon will also evaluate whether:
- Lumbar back pain is the result of one or two intervertebral disks
- Surgery has not been previously performed on the lumbar spine
- Spine deformity is not present
- Bony compression on spinal nerves is not severe
- Facet joint disease has not significantly affected the spinal nerves
A thorough examination and consultation with an orthopedic surgeon will ultimately confirm whether you are an appropriate candidate for lumbar artificial disc surgery.
Advantages of Artificial Lumbar Total Disc Replacement Surgery
Prior to the use of artificial discs in lumbar total disc replacement, spinal fusion surgery was often the preferred surgical procedure for treating low back pain. Although spinal fusion can reduce or eliminate pain for many patients, one potential drawback is losing normal mobility in the spine. This is because spinal fusion surgery literally fuses the damaged vertebrae together (into one bone).
Unlike spinal fusion, artificial disc replacement encourages natural movement of the spine. This is possible because artificial discs are specifically designed to replicate the size and function of the real vertebrae. Most discs are made of metal or plastic. Others are made of a combination of metal and medical-grade plastic. Your surgeon will designate the best disc type based on your individual needs.
In addition to improved outcomes involving mobility of the spine, artificial lumbar total disc replacement surgery recovery also offers patients better results.
Recovery from a spinal fusion may take several months to a year. Patients who follow the explicit post-surgery guidelines of lumbar total disc replacement often recover in around three months.
What to Expect After Lumbar Total Disc Replacement Surgery
The key to a successful recovery from lumbar disc replacement is to get moving! With the guidance of your orthopedic surgeon and/or physical therapist, targeted exercises and stretches will be implemented as part of your healing plan.
During recovery, your orthopedic surgeon will continue to monitor your progress. It is important to be patient with yourself. Studies have demonstrated that recipients of lumbar disc replacement reported significant improvement in quality of life at five- to ten-year follow ups.
Expert Care, From Start to Finish
EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region remains the preferred source of back, neck, and spine treatment for our dedication to personalized, comprehensive, and integrative care. It is our mission to help you Emerge Stronger. Healthier. Better.
Schedule an appointment with one of our highly qualified EmergeOrtho–Triangle Region doctors. Or, call us any time at 984.666.2201.