Artificial disc replacement (ADR)

Patients diagnosed with a severe spine condition affecting a disc in the spine, such as bulging disc, herniated disc or degenerative disc disease, may be recommended to undergo an artificial disc replacement procedure. This is often done in conjunction with a spinal fusion.

Artificial disc replacement is a procedure in which the surgeon will remove the entire diseased disc and replace it with an implant that looks and feels like a disc to offer stability to the spine. This is generally done toward the end of a spinal fusion surgery and requires several days of hospitalization after the operation.

If you have been diagnosed with a severe spine condition impacting a disc in the spine, we encourage you to research all available surgical options before choosing the right procedure for you. Laser Spine Institute offers a safer, more effective alternative to traditional open back fusion and disc replacement that does not require an overnight hospital stay and offers a shorter recovery time.§ As you begin to research your condition and your treatment options, please feel free to reach out to our Care Team at Laser Spine Institute for information about your spine condition and the minimally invasive stabilization surgery we offer to help treat your pain and symptoms.

Disc anatomy

Discs in the spine are found between a set of vertebrae, and act as a cushion for the vertebrae to bend and move without resistance. Discs are comprised of nearly 90 percent water, protected by a tougher outer layer.
Over time, the vertebrae of the spine compress the disc due to weight gain and repetitive motion. As the vertebrae push down on the disc, the disc begins to lose some of its water, causing it to dry and flatten. As the disc degenerates, pressure from the softer interior can cause a portion of the wall to protrude beyond its normal boundary. This process results in a condition known as a bulging disc. When the integrity of the outer wall of the disc is compromised by daily wear and tear, some of the nucleus can move into the spinal canal; this is called a herniated disc.

Though these conditions do not always result in chronic pain, at times the protrusions of the disc can press and irritate the spinal cord or cause irritation to surrounding spinal nerve roots. This can lead to neck or back pain, numbness, weakness and tingling.

When to consider artificial disc replacement

If you have been diagnosed with a degenerative disc condition and you have not found lasting pain relief from conservative methods of treatment, you should consult your physician about a surgical artificial disc replacement procedure to help treat your condition.

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer a minimally invasive stabilization surgery that allows our surgeon to replace your diseased disc with an implant through a small incision in the back, usually about 1-inch in length. Because of the small incision and minimally invasive techniques, the surgery is performed without disrupting the surrounding muscles and soft tissue, which allows our patients to have a shorter recovery time* than patients who undergo traditional open back surgery.

Due to the minimally invasive nature of our stabilization surgery, our surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure at one of our seven world-class surgery centers across the country. Contact our Care Team today for more information about our minimally invasive stabilization surgery.