Definition of artificial disc replacement (ADR)

Artificial disc replacement (ADR) is a procedure aimed at removing a deteriorating intervertebral disc that has herniated or bulged, thereby causing painful neural compression. Ideally, disc replacement removes the source of compression but maintains the spine’s flexibility. While ADR is still a relatively new concept, some people consider this a favorable alternative to traditional open spinal fusion, which seeks to eliminate neural compression through the welding of bone and stabilization.

About artificial disc replacement (ADR)

The intervertebral discs play such an integral role in the spine’s mobility that finding an effective prosthetic alternative has been difficult. Prosthetic discs need to attach to adjacent vertebrae and serve as shock absorbers for all of the spine’s daily movements. Common materials that make up prosthetic discs are a hydrogel inner nucleus with a polyethylene outer wall, a rubber inner nucleus with titanium plates on either side, or cobalt chromium plates with a polyethylene core. Many of these prosthetic models have been approved by the FDA.

It is important to keep in mind that ADR is a highly invasive procedure if it is performed as an open back surgery. It requires a large incision, the removal of spinal anatomy, dissection of surrounding connective tissues and a lengthy rehabilitation period. In addition, the risk of postsurgical complications after an invasive open spine surgery is also a factor.

Minimally invasive treatment options

If you are one of the millions of people who experience spinal nerve compression due to a degenerated intervertebral disc, there are alternatives to highly invasive surgeries like traditional open spine fusion or disc replacement. Laser Spine Institute offers a variety of minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that have helped tens of thousands of people find relief from neck and back pain. Contact us today for your MRI review to find out more about our more effective techniques that offer greatly expedited recovery periods.