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The Advanced Alternative to Surgical Spinal Fusion

How Artificial Lumbar Disc Replacement Technology is Used to Treat Herniated and Degenerative Discs

In recent years, artificial disc replacement has become the preferred and more effective alternative to the more common fusion surgery, for the treatment of herniated and degenerative lumbar disc disorders. The main reason a patient may need to undergo a minimally invasive lumbar disc replacement is to eliminate severe and chronic cases of low back pain caused by compressed nerves. Affected discs are replaced with a specialized metal implant that mimics the normal function of a natural disc to reduce pain, restore stability and maintain range of motion. While various techniques may be offered to treat damaged lumbar discs, artificial disc replacement surgery is an extremely valuable and successful approach to the treatment of various spinal related conditions.

The Benefits of Treating Damaged Lumbar Discs via Artificial Disc Replacement

Until recently, patients who required operative treatment for lumbar disc herniation or degeneration only had one option – a surgical spinal fusion. This procedure involves removing the affected disc and fusing together the vertebrae above and below the extraction site. While pain is managed, patients who undergo this type of surgery often experience a significant reduction in their range of motion as a result of the fusion. There is also an increased risk that the discs adjacent to the fusion may herniate later on, requiring an additional surgery. In addition to preserving range of motion, artificial disc technology also offers the following benefits for patients:

  • Relieves chronic pain by improving stability and reducing muscle tension
  • Corrects abnormal motion and restores disc height
  • Reduces the transmission of forces to adjacent disc segments
  • Slows down and has the potential to stop degenerative changes
  • Requires shorter hospital stays which can reduce hospitalization costs
  • Promotes a faster recovery whereby disc function can be maximized

FACTS: Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery

Disc replacement can be performed through various surgical approaches but it is typically carried out through a small, abdominal incision. The damaged disc is removed and a new artificial disc is inserted in its place between the vertebral bones. Once the disc is secured, the incision is closed and patients can focus on the recovery process. Some additional facts of artificial disc replacement surgery include:

  • Currently, there are several artificial disc devices both in use and in development including composite, hydraulic, elastic and mechanical discs.
  • Disc replacement is similar to other types of joint replacement procedures such as those that involve the knees or hip.
  • Disc implantation is a highly regarded form of treatment as it is the only surgery of its kind that best maintains the form and function of the spine.

Dr. Lewis has an extensive history in providing patients with artificial disc replacements in the lumbar spine. As the first surgeon in Mississippi to perform this operation, he has also pioneered several other operations such as endoscopic spine surgery, endoscopic brain surgery and endoscopic pituitary surgery, over the last 25 years of his career. In addition to this impressive resume, he was also the first surgeon in Mississippi to remove a vascular malformation from the brain stem and thalamus, which required the skill and precision of a highly trained, experienced and trusted surgeon. If you are looking for expert advice and solutions for your brain or spine condition, reach out to Dr. Lewis at Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic today.

Contact us to learn more about artificial disc replacement surgery or to schedule a consultation. We’ll find a solution that works for you. Call us at (601) 366-1011.