Most people rarely think about intervertebral discs until they start experiencing problems. These spongy structures within your spine are responsible for absorbing any impacts as you go on with your daily activities, as well as aid in your movement. Therefore, once you start experiencing unbearable neck and back pains, your doctor might diagnose a degenerative disc, which requires immediate treatment. One of such effective treatments is replacing your natural disc with an artificial one.
Below are some of the important things you need to know about artificial disc replacement.
It Helps Maintain Spine Flexibility and Movement
The main role of an artificial disc is to mimic the role of the natural spinal disc. It helps you preserve motion around your spine. This makes it suitable for patients with mild degenerative disc diseases that do not require the movement restricting spinal fusion treatment option.
It Can Help Prevent Adjacent Segment Disease
The adjacent segment disease is commonly associated with spinal fusion, which is the degeneration of areas around and above the spinal surgery spot. Since artificial disc replacement allows movement, there is equal distribution of weight among the adjacent segments, saving them from overload complications.
Maximizes on the use of Minimally Invasive Techniques
In the past surgeries required big incisions, which led to prolonged hospital stays. But with technological advancement, spine surgeries, such as artificial disc replacement and posterior cervical foraminotomy can be performed using minimally invasive techniques. And because of this, the procedures can take place in an outpatient environment. The incisions are much smaller, there’s less bleeding, fewer post-surgery complications, among other benefits.
Minimal Recovery Period
Although it’s normal to experience mild discomfort after the artificial disc replacement surgery, you can comfortably manage it at home using pain relievers and some ice cubes. The best thing is that you won’t be bedridden for days, you can be out and about in a matter of hours after surgery. However, you will need to rest for 1-2 weeks before resuming some of your daily routines such as driving and even working. But of course, this has to be done with the guidance of your doctor. Your progress will determine how quickly you can start engaging in other physical activities, including the essential post-op physical therapy sessions.
A Certified Spine Surgeon Should determine if it’s the Best Option for You.
Medical procedures can change your life for the better if conducted by qualified professionals. Therefore, always ensure you select the best providers for yourself. When it comes to artificial disc replacement, it’s advisable to consult a board-certified spin surgeon to address your issue and come up with the right treatment option. They should explore all other options, before settling for surgical options to give you the confidence you need to go ahead with the treatment.