Artificial Disc Replacement
Artificial disc replacement, an alternative to spinal fusion surgery, can help reduce pain and improve mobility in patients with chronic low-back pain. This new procedure is an alternative to spinal fusion surgery. A risk associated with spinal fusion is accelerated degeneration of discs at adjacent levels of the spine.
The purpose of artificial disc replacement is to replace the worn out disc while also preserving the spine’s motion. During surgery, an incision is made on the abdomen and the spine is exposed by moving the abdominal contents out of the way. The disc is removed and any collapse of the disc is restored. Two metal plates are placed into the disc space. A plastic bearing is placed between these discs to allow them to move.The result is reduced back pain and no increased risk of problems developing at an adjacent level of the spine.
This new procedure was just recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With any surgery there are risks, but the risks were no higher than those of a fusion. Long term follow-up will be necessary to know for certain the safety and effectiveness of this procedure.
Bone Graft Alternatives
Bone grafts are bone that is transplanted from one area of the skeleton to another to aid in healing, strengthening or improving function. Bone or bone-like materials used in bone grafts may come from you, from a donor or from a man-made source. In many cases they are used to fill in an empty space that may have been created in or between the bones of the spine by disease, injury, deformity or during a surgical procedure such as spinal fusion.
Cervical laminoplasty is a surgical procedure that removes pressure from the spinal cord in the neck. Pressure on the spinal cord can be due to various causes including degenerative changes, arthritis, bone spurs, disc herniations, or fractures. Laminoplasty may be an excellent option to remove the pressure, allow the spinal cord to heal, and reverse the symptoms.
Cervical laminoplasty expands the diameter of the spinal canal decompressing the nerves and spinal cord. This surgery is performed in about two hours. Patients are out of bed and walking generally the next day. Following surgery, patients wear a soft cervical collar for six weeks. The hospital stay is approximately two to three days.