Artificial Disc Replacement: The State of the Art

For decades, the traditional approach to treating pain or disability from an injured spinal disc was to fuse the vertebra with plates, metal rods and screws. While this type of repair helps to relieve pain, it also stops the motion of the treated disc(s) and inhibits mobility and flexibility.

A newer surgical option is artificial disc replacement. This surgery involves removing the damaged or ruptured spinal disc and replacing it with an artificial disc made of metal and polyethylene. This procedure is similar in theory to artificial hip, knee, and shoulder joints that surgeons have been using for more than 35 years to maintain motion and relieve pain. An artificial disc replacement acts like a new spinal joint. Its motion is very similar to the discs you were born with and is designed to rotate and bend just like your natural spinal disc. The artificial disc gives patients up to 10 degrees of lateral bend and 10 degrees of flexion and extension as well as rotation at the operated level, which is not the case after a fusion.

The advantages of artificial disc technology include:

  • Maintaining normal spine motion
  • Reducing degeneration of adjacent segments of the spine
  • Eliminating the need for a bone graft
  • Early post-operative spine motion
  • Faster return to normal activity

Charles S. Theofilos, M.D. is a nationally recognized pioneer and worldwide lecturer in the development of innovative and minimally invasive surgical and non-surgical options for a broad range of cervical and lumbar spinal ailments, including stem cell therapy, artificial disc replacement, kyphoplasty, minimally invasive and laser spine surgery, and more. To see if this procedure is right for you, call The Spine Center today at (561) 630-3870. 

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