Frequently Asked Questions – Artificial Disc Replacement

What type of conditions does an artificial disc replacement surgery treat?

Artificial disc replacement generally treats degenerated discs in the spine or herniated discs in the spine. Some patients with these herniated discs of the spine will have compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots, as well as back pain associated with the degenerated discs. Your doctor will be able to advise you on your specific suitability for this treatment.

What is an artificial disc made out of? Is it a material that's been used in people in the past?

Artificial discs are typically constructed from a variety of materials, including medical grade stainless steel, polyethylene, and cobolt chromium. Implants using these materials have been used safely for a number of indications for many decades.

How is an artificial disc implanted? Is it a familiar technique?

The artificial disc is usually implanted through an incision in the front of the neck or abdomen, and provides direct access to the disc space. It is a familiar approach. This is the same approach used to treat cervical and lumbar disc herniation through an anterior spinal fusion.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 27 Sep 2010

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