Artificial disc surgery overview

The spinal discs can degenerate and are sometimes beyond the body’s natural ability to repair. In the process, the damaged disc material can push out and compress nerves, resulting in a laundry list of uncomfortable symptoms and instability in the spine.

If you are researching surgical treatment options for damaged discs, then chances are you have exhausted conservative treatment options such as pain medication, chiropractic care and physical therapy. Read on to learn about whether a traditional open spinal fusion, an artificial disc surgery or a minimally invasive spine surgery is beneficial in treating your chronic back conditions.

Traditional open spinal fusion

Historically, the treatment plan of choice for severely damaged discs has been a spinal fusion. In this surgery, a team of surgeons removes the affected disc and fuses the neighboring vertebrae together with bone grafts. Thus, the patient experiences a loss of flexibility. As an alternative to an invasive procedure like traditional open spinal fusion, physicians have two different options for patients to consider — artificial disc surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery.

Artificial disc surgery

With artificial disc surgery, a team of surgeons accesses the affected disc, again through open back surgery, and surgically removes the damaged disc. Then surgeons replace the problematic disc with a prosthetic or man-made disc. Artificial disc replacement, or ADR, may be considered when one of the soft and spongy discs in the spine that normally cushion the vertebrae becomes deteriorated to the point of causing severe pain and disability. Theoretically, the artificial disc allows patients to retain their flexibility and diminish the additional stress placed on the rest of the spine.

However, if artificial disc surgery is performed as an intrusive open back procedure, patients need to consider the potential risks and downsides of the operation:

  • Higher risk of infection and complication compared to minimally invasive surgery
  • Possibility of failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS)
  • Lengthy recovery and rehabilitation
  • Hospital stay

Minimally invasive spine surgery

Minimally invasive spine procedures from Laser Spine Institute are performed on an outpatient basis and use a variety of state-of-the-art technologies to preserve motion through decompression or stabilize that level of the spine. Though the goal is also to provide significant relief from the symptoms of a damaged disc, Laser Spine Institute utilizes the methods that have a lower risk of infection and postoperative complications.^

Our procedures offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine procedures.^ To learn more about all of your treatment options, contact Laser Spine Institute today so we can help you on your journey to wellness. Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain.

Reach out to our dedicated team for your no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery.