If six months of intensive nonsurgical therapy has failed to help a patient with unremitting low back pain, and particularly if the pain and other problems are making it hard to perform daily activities, back surgery may be needed to relieve pain and improve function. There are two forms of back surgery that are now applicable to patients in this situation: spinal fusion and artificial disc replacement (ADR, sometimes referred to as total disc replacement or TDR).
The most advanced and cutting-edge treatment currently available is disc replacement surgery. In this procedure, the disc (a soft material between two vertebrae) is separated and the void is filled with a skin graft. Between the two vertebrae, the bone ultimately forms a strong bony bridge. After the surgery, the patient will be free of excruciating pain. When non-invasive interventions such as medications, injections, chiropractic therapy, or physical therapy fail to alleviate pain caused by degenerative disc disease or another condition, artificial cervical disc replacement is required.
The average of artificial disc replacement procedures takes between two and three hours to complete.
Depending on the region of the injury, one of the three types of incisions is made:
For cervical vertebrae – An incision is made in the front of the neck, between the vertebrae.
For lumbar and sacral vertebrae – An incision is made in the abdomen at the level of the vertebrae.
For thoracic vertebrae – At the level of the vertebrae, a transthoracic incision is made.
The following steps are carried out after the incision is made:
- An incision is made to allow visibility, and the organs are retracted.
- The protruding or distorted disc is removed.
- In replacement of the excised disk, an artificial disc is implanted.
- The artificial disc is attached to the adjacent vertebrae through connectors.
- If necessary, a sealing material is inserted between the frictional surfaces of the artificial disk.
- The incision is covered surgically.
After a comprehensive assessment by the physical therapists, the patient can be released after two to four days. Before being discharged from the hospital, patients are told how to get in and out of bed properly. To prevent straining the affected area, the patient must avoid bending or twisting for the first two to four weeks. If the patient’s condition necessitates lower back support, braces may be recommended. Within three weeks of disc replacement surgery, the patient can recover and resume normal activities. According to studies, patients who successfully experience complete disc replacement surgery stay symptom-free and pain-free for an average of 8.7 years.
Total disc replacement takes considerably less time to heal than spinal fusion surgery. The health is unaffected, and the prognosis is positive. The disc replacement surgery has a success rate of about 98 percent.
Disc replacement cost
The cost of a disc replacement (cervical/lumbar) kit varies depending on the inclusions and exclusions. The cost of a Disc Replacement (Cervical/Lumber) kit normally covers all of the patient’s pre-and post-surgery expenses. Artificial cervical disc replacement surgery cost involves the surgeon’s expenses, as well as hospitalization and anesthesia.
Life after disc replacement
- Patients will recover a greater range of head and neck movement following surgery because the disc replacement systems preserve more natural neck motion. Increased activity translates to improved daily work and quality of life.
- Since disc replacement surgery keeps the spine stable and reduces stress, it can help protect the adjacent vertebrae from further degeneration in the long run.
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