What is it?
Artificial disc replacement surgery is a procedure that removes a damaged or poorly functioning disc in the spine and replaces it with an artificial disc. A spinal disc is a soft cushioning structure between the vertebra of the spine. As it becomes damaged, it can affect the structure and function of the bones of the spine. Artificial discs provide stability in the spine and can alleviate pain.
What should I do to prepare?
You should consult your doctor for the best course of action to prepare for your surgery. This surgery requires general anesthesia, so you should refrain from eating or drinking the night prior to surgery and avoid certain medications. You should also prepare your recovery space beforehand for the lack of mobility you will have.
What happens during the process?
During the process, an incision will be made in the back, and the damaged disc will be removed from between the vertebrae. Metal plates are then screwed into the vertebrae in the empty spaces, and a spacer is placed between the plates. This spacer allows for mobility and stability in the spine.
What are the risks and potential complications?
An artificial disc replacement risks and complications. These may include bleeding and infection at the incision site, allergies to certain medications, pain and nerve damage. As this is a spinal procedure, there are risks of spinal damage.