Lumbar spinal fusion involves the fusion of two separate vertebrae in the lumbar spine in to increase stability. While spinal fusion is an effective technique for rehabilitating damaged areas of the lumbar spine, it requires the removal of mobility to the fused vertebrae in the process. Pursuant of preserving both the disc and the flexible tissue between them, Non-fusion Motion Preservation Lumbar Spine Surgery has recently been introduced. This strategy helps alleviate pain and address spinal pathology simultaneously.
Artificial Disc Replacement
During Artificial Disc Replacement of the Lumbar Spine, damaged or diseased intervertebral tissue is removed and replaced by an artificial device or “disc”. This allows the spine to regain mobility without compromising structural integrity. However, prior to this procedure, your medical provider may require x-ray, MRI, CT scan and discography imaging in order to establish appropriate candidacy. Spinal nerve compression, deformity, a history of prior surgeries, obesity, and multiple degenerated vertebrae may negate the benefits of this surgery.
Artificial Disc Replacement generally ranges from two to three hours. The lumbar spine is approached through an incision in the abdomen, allowing the surgeon to approach the vertebrae without compromising surrounding nerves. A vascular surgeon often assists your orthopaedic surgeon during this process. The damaged disc is removed and replaced with an artificial disc. The disc is comprised of medical grade plastic (polyethylene), titanium alloy, or medical grade cobalt chromium.
Most patient’s hospital stay lasts 1-3 days depending on their degree of pain. Physical activity such as walking is encouraged the day following surgery. Early mobility is a valuable facet of recovery. Exercise and physical therapy are often prescribed to encourage recovery. Improvement of mobility and pain is often apparent after a couple weeks, however the complete alleviation of pain is uncommon.