Disc Replacement

Overview

Approved by the FDA for the Lumbar region and Cervical region, for use in the United States, disc replacement is an alternative to traditional spinal fusion. Disc replacement replaces one or more damaged, diseased, or degenerative discs with artificial discs. The artificial disc is constructed from a polyethylene core sandwiched between two endplates made of a cobalt-chrome alloy. It restores the vertebrae above and below the disc to their normal position, thereby preventing them from pressing on the nerves between them and causing pain. By inserting new discs, this procedure preserves the flexibility of the spine.

Conditions Treated

Cervical

Cervical Disc replacement surgery offers patients with radiculopathy and myelopathy related to herniated disc and/or degenerative cervical disc disease (DDD) in the cervical spine an alternative to spinal fusion surgery. Cervical Disc replacement technology replaces a diseased or damaged disc. Artificial disc replacement offers the potential for preserved neck mobility at the treated vertebral level. Cervical Disc replacement is available in a variety of sizes that allow surgeons to closely match a patient's anatomy.

Lumbar

Lumbar Disc replacement surgery represents a new treatment option for patients with degenerative disc disease who have ongoing lower back pain that does not respond to conservative treatments. Long term studies suggest that artificial disc replacement (ADR) technology protects the adjacent levels of the spine from degeneration due to overloading. As opposed to spinal fusion, ADR maintains or restores mobility of the spine.

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Typical Results

Cervical

Cervical artificial disc replacement surgery is a joint replacement procedure that involves inserting an artificial disc, between the vertebrae to replace a natural spinal disc after it has been removed. This prosthetic device is designed to mimic the function of a natural disc, preserving mobility within the disc space and throughout the treated vertebral segment.

The European and FDA study show that with regard to pain and neurological deficit that cervical disc replacement may be superior to an anterior cervical fusion.

Lumbar

Total disc replacement provides both mechanical stability and restored mobility to the spine and significant pain relief to the patient. The synthetic material used in total disc replacement enables a greater post-operative range of motion. In addition, patients typically return to their normal activities within two to six weeks after surgery with their back pain alleviated.

The European studies, bolstered by USA experience since FDA approval, suggest that disc replacement offers a safe and effective alternative to traditional spinal fusion. Its effectiveness has been validated by long-term results in Europe. Patients who undergo disc replacement at the Spine Institute of NY will be monitored post-operatively under rigorous guidelines.

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Patient Response

Cervical

Patient response to disc replacement has been positive. A cervical disc replacement is performed through the same approach as an anterior cervical fusion. Patients can leave the hospital within 24 hours without the need for a brace.

Lumbar

Patient response to disc replacement has been positive. The surgery requires an anterior approach for the lumbar disc replacement. Disc replacement surgery has a shorter recovery process and allows a faster return to normal activity when compared to fusion.

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