Some types of back and neck conditions which result in chronic pain can be treated with a combination of rest, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications. While non-surgical options are always in your best interests and the first method of treatment your doctor with explore, there are times when more invasive procedures are needed. For our doctors and staff Spine & Orthopedic Specialists Tulsa, protecting your health and providing you with relief are our top priorities. For some patients, this requires exploring the benefits of artificial disk replacement.

Lumbar Artificial Disk Replacement

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) recommends artificial disk replacement (ADR) surgery as an option for when disk material between the vertebrae, which are small bones in the spine, is worn or damaged beyond repair. By removing this material and replacing it with an artificial disk, it can help alleviate pain while helping the patient regain better movement and a greater range of motion.

Artificial disk replacement was approved as a treatment option by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2004. Since that time, it has provided relief for countless people, while the procedure itself has become more easy, efficient and effective. As a treatment for pain in the lumbar, or lower back, region, your doctor will use diagnostic testing procedures such as x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) scans to determine if it is a viable option. The AAOS advises that those who make the best candidates for lumbar artificial disk replacement share the following characteristics:

  • Back pain which testing indicates is caused by one or two disks in the lumbar spine;
  • Those who have undergone no prior surgeries in the area;
  • Those without scoliosis, which is a deformity of the spine;
  • Those who are within the normal weight range for their body size.

The surgery itself generally takes between two and three hours, and will require a hospital stay of several days. Patients will be given basic stretching exercises to perform during the first weeks of recovery, which are designed to help you rehabilitate and build strength. Most patients can expect to make a full recovery within weeks or months of having the procedure.

Cervical Artificial Disk Replacement

In addition to addressing lower back issues, artificial disk replacement can also help address issues in the neck, or cervical region. Those suffering problems with cervical disks often experience weakness or numbness in the arm and neck pain. The same as with lumbar ADR, Health Science advises that the best candidates will have only one or two levels in the neck affected, no prior surgeries, and no other, complicating conditions. Depending on your situation, your doctor will likely try treating your neck pain with less invasive techniques prior to exploring the benefits of ADR.

Contact Our Office Today

When back or neck issues cause you pain and prevent you from engaging in activities you enjoy, contact our medical staff at Spine & Orthopedic Specialists Tulsa for help. We can arrange an appointment in our Tulsa or Claremore office to discuss your symptoms and the options which may be available.