Click here to watch a video on the process Dr. Melamed uses.
Artificial disc replacement surgery offers long-term pain relief for patients with severely worn or damaged spinal discs. This minimally invasive surgery replaces painful discs that are beyond repair with artificial ones. Artificial disc replacement may be performed on the cervical spine in your neck or the lumbar spine in your lower back.
Unlike spinal fusion techniques, which address disc problems but limit spinal movement, artificial disc replacement preserves joint motion because it doesn’t require the two vertebrae on either side of the artificial disc to fuse into one solid unit.
An artificial disc replacement can be a viable option for several persistent spinal disc problems, including:
A disc that has pushed outside of its designated space in the spinal canal can put pressure on nerves and cause pain; left untreated, it may rupture.
A disc that cracks and oozes some of its soft, interior gel has herniated or ruptured; a herniated disc can affect nearby nerves and may cause burning pain from your lower back down into your legs.
A disc that’s affected by age-related degeneration may have low fluid or a tear in its tough exterior; it can also be accompanied by bone spurs on the spine.
Because these disc problems can cause a wide variety of symptoms, correcting an ongoing disc condition with an artificial replacement can help relieve:
If your disc problems don’t respond to conservative treatments like physical therapy, massage, chiropractic care, or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medications, artificial disc replacement may be a viable option for you.
To determine whether you’re a good candidate for disc replacement, Dr. Melamed may require a few diagnostic imaging tests, such as an MRI, CT scan, or X-ray. Even if these tests reveal that problematic discs are the underlying cause of your neck or back pain, you still need to meet additional criteria to have the surgery: