Artificial Disc Replacement
Artificial lumbar disc replacement is an advanced solution for certain patients with recurrent, debilitating lower back pain. Specialists at the Orthopaedic & Spine Institute perform this specialized procedure using the Charite’ artificial disc, which has only been FDA-approved for use in this country since 2004.
Patients with a degenerated lumbar disc (also known as a herniated disc) have been given new hope for pain relief with this alternative to spinal fusion. It can be inserted between the L4 and L5 vertebrae or between the L5 and S1 vertebrae.
During artificial disc replacement, the diseased disc is removed from between the vertebrae and an artificial disc made of a plastic, polyethylene core sandwiched between two cobalt chromium endplates is anchored into the adjacent vertebrae. In other words, the artificial disc serves as a substitute for the real thing. Just like other artificial joints, the artificial disc is a motion-preserving device. It also preserves disc height, alleviating pressure on the spinal nerves that results from degeneration.
To be eligible for disc replacement, patients must have failed six months of conservative treatment. People with poor bone quality, such as osteoporosis or osteopenia, those with disc degeneration at more than one spinal level, and people with spinal instability are not candidates for this procedure.
This pioneering alternative is performed by minimally invasive means, offering patients the opportunity for a faster recovery and rehabilitation than conventional surgery.
Is it right for you? Your Institute surgeon will discuss all your options. Call 215-481-BONE today to find an orthopaedic spine or neurosurgeon.