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Total disc replacement is a type of back surgery that is done to treat worn or damaged spinal discs that are causing chronic pain. The procedure involves replacing the problematic disc with an artificial device, relieving discomfort while preserving normal motion and function.
An artificial disc is designed to replicate the size and function of your normal spinal discs. Some of these devices are composed of metal, while others are made of both metal and plastic. The device features two plates that attach to the vertebrae on either side of your problematic disc.
We can determine your candidacy for total disc replacement during a physical examination at our Long Island office. To begin, we will order an X-ray to identify the extent of your pain and spinal damage, and to determine if your condition is appropriate for this procedure. In some cases, we may also order an MRI or CT scan to gather additional information that can aid in this process.
In general, we will recommend total disc replacement if you:
Total disc replacement is done under general anesthesia and takes about two to three hours to complete.
For lumbar disc replacement in your lower back, we will create an incision in your abdomen and move your organs and blood vessels aside. This allows us to access the spine without interfering with the adjacent nerves. From there, we will open and expose the disc space, remove the problematic material, and replace it with an artificial disc.
For cervical disc replacement, we will create an incision in the front of your neck. Through that opening, we will move muscles and tissue in the area aside. From there, we will remove the problematic disc and replace it with an artificial one.
You will need to stay in the hospital for two to four days after your procedure so that we can monitor your progress. During that time, we will help you stand and walk around as soon as possible, as doing so can result in a quicker recovery period.
Once you are cleared to return home, you will need to avoid hyperextending your back for several weeks. It is also important to walk and stretch regularly to ensure an optimal healing process.
Most of our Long Island patients experience a marked improvement in their pain levels in the weeks and months following their total disc replacement. Although your pain may never be completely eliminated, you should notice a dramatic difference after surgery.
Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.
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Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.
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Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.
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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.