When talking about the term “artificial disc replacement,” people have different ideas and guesses of what it is. For those who aren’t familiar with it, they might say that it’s attaching robotic parts to the spine, which is incorrect.
However, what really is artificial disc replacement, and how does it work? If you’re interested in this question, this article can help. Below, we’ll discuss the process behind this treatment, so please read on.
The Process Behind Artificial Disc Replacement
Before discussing how artificial disc replacement works, it might be a good idea to know why doctors might advise getting it in the first place. As such, if you’re unfamiliar, the spine is made up of bones called vertebrae separated by cushioning bones called discs (or disks).
Due to aging or injuries, these discs might get worn out or weakened, causing back pain and other complications. Ultimately, if the back pain persists, a person can choose to get an artificial disc replacement operation, which works like this:
Before the surgery, the doctors will check your medical records and perform several tests, including a CT scan and X-ray. It is vital for them to thoroughly review your spine to see the affected areas and conclude if your body needs or can handle the operation. In addition to tests, the doctors might suggest or require you to stop smoking or eating and stay in the hospital days or hours before the schedule.
2. Anesthetic application
Like other crucial surgeries, the anesthesiologist will have to put you under the anesthetic influence. Besides making the body numb or unresponsive to pain, this will also put you to sleep during the operation. Typically, you will have to lay on your back before the procedure.
Once you’re asleep, the surgeons, typically an orthopedic/neurosurgeon and a vascular surgeon, will begin the operation. It starts with the incision in the abdomen to access the spine. Before reaching the spine, the surgeons will have to move the blood vessels and organs to the side for easier maneuvers.
4. Disc replacement
Finally, the surgeons will now remove the weakened or damaged disc. Then, they will attach the artificial disc, which can either be metal or a combination of plastic and metal. After that, the blood vessels and organs will be placed back in their original places, and the surgeons will close the incision.
5. Close monitoring
After the successful surgery, the doctors will situate you in a recovery area in the hospital until you wake up. Once the anesthesia’s effects are entirely gone, they will then transfer you to your room. While in the medical facility, you will still need to have an IV line connected and sometimes a catheter connected to the bladder to make urinating more manageable.
Do You Think You Need Artificial Disc Replacement?
Have you been enduring back pain for quite a while now? Does your physician think or advise you to get an artificial disc replacement surgery? If so, it might be time to consider consulting a doctor specializing in your condition. Should you agree but don’t know where to go, Lanman Spinal Neurosurgery is a great place to start. Learn more about their offered spinal surgeries or book an appointment by visiting spine.md today!