Is Lumbar Disc Replacement Right for You?

If you are among the millions of people suffering from chronic back pain due to a herniated or degenerative disc in your lower back, lumbar disc replacement could be right for you. This specialized spine surgery offers a wide range of benefits that could significantly improve your quality of life.

About Lumbar Disc Replacement

Lumbar disc replacement is a surgical procedure that involves removing a damaged lumbar disc and replacing it with an artificial disc. By so doing, it alleviates lower back pain and other symptoms while maintaining the natural movement of your spine. Unlike fusion surgery (which permanently joins two vertebrae together), disc replacement allows the vertebrae on either side of the artificial disc to continue to move freely.

Good Candidates for Disc Replacement Surgery

Generally, candidates for disc replacement are individuals who identify with the following:

  • Confirmed herniation or degeneration of a lumbar disc
  • The adjacent discs are relatively healthy (no major disc degeneration on successive lumbar discs)
  • Symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness
  • No significant underlying spinal deformity
  • No significant facet joint disease or bony compression on the nerves
  • Not significantly overweight
  • Typically, between the ages of 20 and 60
  • Conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medications, and injections have failed to provide relief

It’s important to note that each person’s condition is unique, and not everyone is a candidate for disc replacement. Your qualification for this procedure will depend on a thorough evaluation by an experienced orthopedic spine surgeon.

Advantages of Lumbar Disc Replacement

Traditionally, spinal fusion surgery was the go-to procedure for alleviating pain from lumbar disc herniations and degenerative disc disease. However, lumbar disc replacement has emerged as an advanced and highly effective surgical alternative, boasting several advantages:

  • Motion-preserving: Unlike fusion surgery, disc replacement allows for continued movement in the treated area, reducing the risk of adjacent segment degeneration.
  • Quicker recovery: Patients often experience a quicker recovery time compared to fusion surgery, which allows them to return to their daily activities (and a happier, healthier lifestyle) sooner.
  • Fewer complications: Studies have shown that disc replacement surgery has a lower risk of complications compared to fusion surgery.
  • Disc durability: Artificial discs can last up to 20 years or more, making them a compelling choice for patients who need spine surgery to correct a degenerative disc.

If you need surgery on your lower back, and you are a candidate for artificial disc replacement, we strongly urge you to consider lumbar disc replacement for your treatment. While lower back pain can significantly impact your quality of life, advancements in spine surgery can offer you hope for relief and a return to a more active, pain-free life. Lumbar disc replacement could be your pathway to a healthier, happier spine.

A qualified and experienced orthopedic spine surgeon is your best ally in deciding whether lumbar disc replacement is right for you. Board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Stephen Pehler can help you understand your treatment options and determine the best way to alleviate your symptoms and reclaim the lifestyle you desire. To book an appointment with Dr. Pehler, call 303-695-6060 or complete our online contact form today.