Artificial disc replacement is the latest surgical procedure for relieving lower back pain. It is similar to hip or knee joint replacements. Artificial disc replacement substitutes a mechanical disc made of metal or a combination of metal and plastic for an intervertebral disc in the spine. The device helps to restore motion and relief from pain by replacing the worn out degenerative disc.
Despite its frequent use and increasing popularity, indications and contraindications for total disc replacement at this stage is a matter of debate. More and more patients are opting for disc replacement instead of spinal fusion surgery.
Testimonials, surveys, and research shows that disc replacement has proven to be successful and the patients no longer need narcotics and their leg pain, shooting pain virtually goes away. Most of the patients are prescribed to stand and walk a few steps from the very first day after operation as bone healing is not required for artificial disc implantation. The hospital stay is generally for two to four days, depending on the patient’s response to medications. The rehabilitation team prescribes basic exercises during the early weeks after surgery like walking and stretching. Some patients do complain of muscle cramps but this tends to go away with physical therapy and time