When to Consider an Artificial Disc Replacement

doctor examining lower back pain in an older man

Chronic back pain seems to be an epidemic in the US. We all know someone who suffers from it, or maybe we do. Our spine allows us to move freely and without pain as long as the structures are not damaged. The discs between our vertebrae are a prime example. They are the cushions that keep our vertebra from touching each other and causing that pain. Unfortunately those discs can become unhealthy due to age or damage from an accident, but fortunately patients with back pain can have a disc replaced with a metal or plastic one. When should you consider an artificial disc replacement?

What Is Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery?

The spine surgeons at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders perform artificial disc replacement surgery in Fort Worth. During the procedure, your surgeon exchanges the damaged disc with a mechanical one that replicates the spine’s movements, restoring the patient’s range of motion and relieving them from pain, allowing normal movement.

Artificial disc replacement surgery involves a minimally invasive approach, and patients have a shorter hospital stay and a quick recovery. In addition, research shows that disc replacement decreases the likelihood of needing another surgery in the future.

Signs It’s Time to Consider an Artificial Disc Replacement

You Have Degenerative Disc Disease

While pain is the most common symptom, degenerative disc disease can also cause numbness, weakness, or shooting pain. This disease becomes more prevalent with age as the discs experience more wear and tear. 

Your spine surgeon will perform a thorough examination and review imaging tests like an MRI, X-rays, or CT scans to make a definitive diagnosis.

You Have a Herniated Disc

A herniated disc is a condition where the outside cover of a disc becomes cracked with the soft inside spilling out. This can irritate nearby nerves and result in pain, numbness, and weakness. A pinched nerve can cause pain from your spine all the way to the tips of your hands and feet. Artificial disc replacement can help.

You Have Tried Other Treatments

You have tried conservative ways to relieve your pain, but you get no relief. Now might be the time to consider an artificial disc replacement.

Maybe you have tried OTC pain medications, cortisone injections, physical therapy, muscle relaxers, and heat therapy. If you still have pain, talk to DFW Center for Spinal Disorders about an artificial disc replacement surgery.

Who Is a Candidate for Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery?

Not everyone can have an artificial disc replacement surgery.

You must meet these qualifications:

  • Your chronic pain is a result of your intervertebral discs.
  • You are at a healthy weight and in good condition.
  • You have a healthy spine and no deformities like scoliosis.
  • There is no significant compression.
  • You haven’t previously had spinal surgery.

You don’t have to live with chronic back pain. Contact DFW Center for Spinal Disorders at (817) 916-4685 if you suffer with lower back pain or in your neck area, or request an appointment through our secure online form.