A lumbar Disc Replacement Surgery is a type of back surgery. It involves replacing a worn or degenerated disk in the lower part of your spine with an artificial replacement made of medical-grade metal or a combination of medical-grade metal and medical-grade plastic.There are many artificial disc designs classified into two general types: total disc replacement and disc nucleus replacement. As the names imply, with a total disc replacement, all or most of the disc tissue is removed and a replacement device is implanted into the space between the vertebra. With a disc nucleus replacement, only the centre of the disc (the nucleus) is removed and replaced with an implant. The outer part of the disc (the annulus) is not removed.
Deciding about the Treatment
The indications for disc replacement may vary for each type of implant. Some general indications are pain arising from the disc that has not been adequately reduced with non-operative care such as medication, injections, chiropractic care and/or physical therapy. Typically, you will have had an MRI that shows disc degeneration. Often discography is performed to verify which disc(s), if any, is related to your pain. (Discography is a procedure in which dye is injected into the disc and X-rays and a CT scan are taken). The surgeon will correlate the results of these tests with findings from your history and physical examination to help determine the source of your pain. Then he will decide whether to go for Disc Replacement Surgery or not.
You can expect to stay in the hospital for 2 to 4 days after your lumbar disk replacement surgery. Because a lumbar disk replacement doesn’t require bone to heal, the recovery period may be faster than with other back surgeries. You may be encouraged to stand and walk within the first day after surgery.You will probably be shown how to do exercises for your midsection, such as gentle trunk twists. This will keep your spine limber and lead to quicker rehabilitation and recovery. As your recovery progresses, you’ll be encouraged to walk and stretch. You’ll want to avoid any jarring activities or motions for quite awhile. Your recovery may take from a few weeks to a few months.
Dr. Sandeep Vaishya, FMRI, Gurgaon
Dr. V. S Mehta, Paras Hospital, Gurgaon
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