Lumbar Artificial Disc Replacement

Lumbar artificial disc replacement is a surgical treatment alternative for degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine. This surgery is designed to relieve or improve back pain and chronic low back pain while preserving motion at the lumbar segment.

Anterior lumbar fusion is the more traditional approach to treating chronic degenerative disc disease.

Most artificial disc replacement surgery is done for single-level or isolated degenerative disc disease at either L4-5 or L5-S1.

Though prospective randomized studies demonstrate similar relief patterns with artificial disc replacement as opposed to anterior lumbar interbody fusion, the long-term results with artificial disc replacement have clearly demonstrated superior results in long-term follow-up, both in regards to pain relief and the prevention of adjacent-level degenerative disc disease.

  • Anterior refers to the approach of surgery which is done through the abdomen as opposed to an incision on the low back.
  • This approach provides clearly better access for complete discectomy and implantation of the artificial disc implant.
  • Lumbar refers to the position of the spine which is in the low back region.

Lumbar Artificial Disc Replacement

Following lumbar artificial disc replacement surgery, a brief hospital stay (1 or 2 days) is typically necessary to track pain levels and oversee mobility. Before leaving the hospital, it is typically necessary to stand and walk, and the first few days or weeks following surgery may necessitate the use of a cane or walker.

Recovery after lumbar artificial disc replacement typically takes three months while the body heals from surgery and the spine adapts to the implanted device. Patients’ recovery periods might differ.

Lumbar Artificial Disc Risks

Artificial disc replacement complications have decreased in recent years due to advancements in surgical techniques and technology as well as increased understanding of the indications for artificial disc replacement.

As opposed to spinal fusion surgery, artificial disc replacement has a lesser chance of degeneration resulting in disease in the neighboring segment. The method, meanwhile, is unable to totally remove shifted pressure on neighboring segments.