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Disc replacement surgery is a type of spinal surgery used to treat specific spine conditions. It entails the removal of a damaged or diseased spinal disc and its replacement with an artificial disc. The purpose of the surgery is to reduce pain and increase mobility.

What is a Disc Replacement Surgery?

Disc replacement surgery , also known as artificial disc replacement surgery, is a treatment that involves removing a damaged or diseased spinal disc and replacing it with an artificial one. Spinal discs are soft cushiony shock absorbers that are found between the vertebrae of the spine. They have a hard outer layer and a soft inner layer. When a disc becomes injured or diseased, it can cause back, neck, arm, or limb discomfort, numbness, or weakness.
Disc replacement surgery is typically performed on patients who have failed to respond to conservative treatments, such as physical therapy and medications. The artificial disc is designed to simulate the movement and function of a natural disc.

When is a Disc Replacement Surgery Recommended?

Patients with certain spinal disorders who have not responded to non-surgical treatments such as medication, physical therapy, and injections may benefit from disc replacement surgery. The following are some of the conditions that may be treated with disc replacement surgery :

  • Degenerative disc disease: Degenerative disc disease is a condition in which the spinal discs deteriorate and lose their flexibility. It can result in pain, stiffness, and restricted motion.
  • Herniated disc: A herniated disc is a condition where the soft inner layer of the disc bulges or ruptures through the outer layer, putting pressure on the nerves in the spine. It can cause back discomfort, numbness, and weakness in the arms and legs.
  • Spinal stenosis: A narrowing of the spinal canal that puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. It can cause back discomfort, numbness, and weakness in the legs and limbs.
  • Spondylolisthesis: Spondylolisthesis is a disorder in which a vertebra in the spine slips out of place, placing pressure on the spinal nerves. It can cause back discomfort, numbness, and weakness in the legs and limbs.

Disc replacement surgery may not be suitable for all patients, and the decision should be made with a skilled spine surgeon. The patient's age, overall health, and the exact nature of their spinal disease are all factors that can influence the need for a disc replacement surgery.

How to Prepare For a Disc Replacement Surgery?

Preparing for a disk replacement surgery entails several steps that will help ensure the procedure goes smoothly and the patient has the best potential outcome. Preparation for disk replacement surgery may include the following steps:

  • Medical evaluation: Before surgery, the patient will need to have a medical evaluation to examine their overall health and detect any pre-existing medical disorders that may interfere with the surgery or recovery.
  • Medications: In the days or weeks leading up to surgery, the patient may need to change or discontinue some medications, such as blood thinners. This will be determined by the medications the patient is taking as well as the surgeon's instructions.
  • Fasting: Before surgery, the patient may need to fast for a set period. Depending on the surgeon's instructions, this is usually done 6 to 12 hours before the procedure.
  • Pre-surgical instructions: Before the surgery, the patient will be given directions on what to do, such as when to stop eating and drinking, when to arrive at the hospital, and what to bring.
  • Recovery plan: The patient must plan for their recovery following surgery, including arranging for transportation home from the hospital and making any necessary preparations for assistance with everyday activities throughout the recovery time.

To assist ensure the treatment goes successfully and reduces the risk of problems, patients should follow all pre-surgical instructions provided by their surgeon, including any medications or fasting requirements.

How is a Disc Replacement Surgery Performed?

Disc replacement surgery is often conducted under general anesthesia, which means the patient will be unconscious throughout the process. The procedure usually takes 1-3 hours to complete and consists of the following steps:

  • Incision: Depending on the location of the affected disk, the surgeon will make a small incision in the patient's back or neck.
  • Accessing the spine: To reach the affected disk, the surgeon will carefully pull the muscles, tissues, and other components in the spine aside.
  • Disc removal: The surgeon will gently remove the injured or diseased disc while avoiding the spine's nerves.
  • Preparation of the disc space: The surgeon will prepare the space where the new artificial disc will be inserted, to ensure it is in the proper size and shape.
  • Insertion of the artificial disc: The surgeon will carefully place the new artificial disc in place of the injured disc. The artificial disc is meant to move and function like a natural disc, allowing for increased mobility and pain reduction.
  • Closure of the incision: The incision will be closed with sutures or staples, and a dressing may be placed over it.

The patient will be closely observed in the recovery room after surgery until they are conscious and their vital signs are stable. Depending on the surgical procedure and the patient's specific situation, they may be able to go home the same day as the surgery or may require a few days in the hospital. Physical therapy may be advised to assist the patient in regaining strength and mobility following surgery.

What to Expect After a Disc Replacement Surgery?

After disc replacement surgery , patients can expect pain and discomfort, and limited mobility for some time. Here are some  things patients can expect during recovery:

  • Pain management: The patient will most likely have some discomfort following the surgery, which can be treated with medications prescribed by the surgeon.
  • Limited mobility: Patients will be advised to avoid any activity that could put stress on the spine, such as bending, twisting, or carrying heavy things, for many weeks after surgery.
  • Hospital stay: The length of the hospital stay is determined by the patient's overall condition and the degree of the surgery. Some patients may be discharged the same day, while others may require hospitalization for several days.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy may be recommended by the surgeon to assist the patient to regain strength and mobility following surgery. The therapist will create a personalized fitness program based on the patient's specific demands.
  • Follow-up appointments: The patient will need to return to the surgeon for follow-up appointments to evaluate the healing process and confirm that the new disc is functioning appropriately.
  • Return to work: The time it takes to return to work is determined by the patient's job and the scope of the surgery. Some patients may be able to return to work within a few weeks, but others may require several months. In most cases, you will be able to fully recover within 3 months.

For a smooth recovery and to reduce the risk of complications, patients should attentively follow the surgeon's post-operative instructions, including any limitations on the activities.

What are the Benefits and Risks Associated With Disc Replacement Surgery?


Disc replacement surgery can provide several benefits, including:

  • Pain relief: It can relieve chronic lower back pain caused by a damaged or worn-out intervertebral disk.
  • Improved mobility: It can help restore mobility and reduce stiffness by replacing the damaged disk with an artificial one.
  • Reduced risk of adjacent level degeneration: Disc replacement surgery can reduce the risk of additional disk problems developing in the future.
  • Shorter recovery time: Compared to traditional spinal fusion surgery, disk replacement surgery typically has a shorter recovery time and allows for a quicker return to normal activities.
  • Better outcomes: Disc replacement surgery has been shown to have better clinical outcomes in terms of pain relief and functional improvement compared to other forms of spinal surgery.

Note: The actual benefits of disk replacement surgery may vary depending on the individual and the specific condition being treated.


Disc replacement surgery is a safe procedure and risks or complications are rare. However, like any other procedure, it may hold certain risks such as:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Nerve damage
  • Implant failure or dislocation
  • Persistent pain
  • Adjacent segment degeneration
  • Need for revision surgery.

It is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of the surgery with a qualified surgeon to make an informed decision.

Why Choose Medfin?

Surgery can be a daunting aspect, and feeling anxious is normal. The massive amount of information you can get from the internet may confuse you even more. This is where Medfin can help. Leave us the hefty task of finding the best hospital, the finest doctor, and the latest procedure at the lowest cost. Let us take charge while you sit back and focus on your health and recovery. Think surgery! Think Medfin!

Frequently Asked Questions

Medfin offers the latest surgical procedures to ensure that you recover as fast as possible in the least painful way possible.

While a disc can slip or herniate again after surgery, the chance of this happening is low. In general, disc replacement surgery is intended to relieve the symptoms of a damaged or diseased disc, and the implant used is intended to offer long-term spine support.

Most individuals who undergo a successful disc replacement surgery are able to lead a normal life with reduced or eliminated back pain and improved mobility. Disc replacement surgery aims at restoring the natural function of a damaged spinal disc, which can improve spinal alignment, stability, and flexibility.

Yes, disk replacement surgery is considered major surgery. The procedure involves making an incision in the patient's back or neck, accessing the spine, removing the damaged or diseased disc, and inserting an artificial disc. 

Spinal surgery does not have an age limit. The decision as to whether to have spinal surgery is usually based on several variables, including the severity of the patient's symptoms and your overall health. Spinal surgery is most typically performed on older persons, particularly those over the age of 60, who are at a higher risk of developing spinal diseases such as degenerative disc degeneration or spinal stenosis.

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The power of Medfin in Patient’s words


Got to know about them from my friend. They got an appointment for only 299. Once the doctor confirmed that I needed the surgery they got me a fixed cost which included ALL the costs. No extra amounts were charged. Thank you Medfin

Suresh Menon
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After my consultation with the doctor, MEDFIN representative got me a fixed package cost that included my mothers initial tests, surgery cost. They also gave me stockings free for Rs. 3000 post the surgery. They kept up their promise they made

Radhika Iyer
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Thank you Medfin. They ensured the whole process from selecting a very experienced doctor to offering the latest procedure at a very reasonable price. They also arranged a follow up post my surgery with the doctor to ensure my recovery was on track. Thank you for being there throughout

Deepa Shree
Recommended our service

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