Spine lumbar Disc replacement

What is a lumbar disk replacement?


A Lumbar disk replacement is one of the spine or back surgery processes for treating Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD). 

Lumbar disk replacement aims to remove the movement at damaged joints and thus restoring stability.

The spine is made up of vertebral bones that are assembled at the top of one another. 

The disks that are located in between vertebrae work as a cushion for smooth movement and rotation without bones being interrupted against each other. 

The disks and lumbar vertebrae are located at the spine bottom end. In this surgery, the degenerated disc is removed and replaced with the artificial metal disk. 

In some cases, the artificial disk used is made by combining metal and plastic.

It is used as an alternative to spine fusion surgery. In spinal fusion surgery, two vertebrae are joint permanently. 

While in this surgery, removal, and replacement of the affected disk are performed. Generally, lumbar disk replacement is carried out under general anesthesia and requires a hospital stay.

What are the Procedures of Spine lumbar Disc replacement?


Foraminotomy

This surgery is for treating and relieving the pain related to the spine compressed nerves. 

To enlarge the space at the nerve's exit of your spine, bone is cut at the vertebrae sides. This will relieve the pressure and reduce pain. 

In some cases, if the spine becomes unstable then spinal fusion is done at the same time. 

Diskectomy

Sometimes the reason for back pain is the slip of the cushion that is separating your vertebrae.

In a Discectomy, the surgeon will remove the affected disk or its part by making an incision. 

Nowadays most surgical treatments are done using small incisions using a microscope. This process is called Microdiscectomy.

This procedure has become common for lumbar disc herniation. 

Discectomy could be a part of large surgeries such as Spinal Fusion, Foraminotomy, or Laminectomy.

Interlaminar Implant

This is a minimally invasive surgery and an alternative to Laminectomy plus Fusion Surgery or Laminectomy. 

In this procedure, a U-shaped device is placed between the two vertebrae in the lower back part of your body. 

It maintains the desired space and eases the nerves resulting in a reduction in the pain. The device placed is more flexible and allows spine stability.

What happens to post surgery of lumbar disk replacement surgery?


  • After the surgery, you will require a hospital stay of a few days. Comparatively the recovery time would be faster as it doesn't require healing of the bone, as in the case of other spine surgeries. 

  • Pain medications are given if there is a need. After a day of the surgery, you will be encouraged to stand and start walking slowly. 

  • A bladder catheter and IV will be discontinued within a few days after the surgery.

  • After surgery, some basic exercises are taught. Also, you will be guided on how to move correctly. This is helpful in faster recovery and rehabilitation. 

  • Walking and stretching are encouraged once you progress in your recovery process. For some time, you must avoid heavy activities or movements. 

Depending on the various factors, the recovery can take a few weeks or months.

Ideally, this surgery reduces your back pain to a certain extent. However, it may not eliminate it. Have a detailed discussion with your doctor regarding the reality and expectations that can be made after the surgery.

Besides, you must consult your healthcare provider for guiding you regarding do’s and don'ts after the surgery.

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