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Chronic pain is never easy to deal with, and neither is it “fun”. The frustration and decrease in quality of life it causes, not to mention adjustments in activities of daily living can lead many people suffering from it to wonder “What are my treatment options?”.

If your pain is in the cervical or lumbar spine due to disc degeneration, you may be a candidate for artificial cervical disc replacement surgery or lumbar disc replacement surgery, respectively.

Where Can Disc Problems in the Spine Occur?

Degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, and other disc-related issues can occur anywhere in the spine, including the cervical region (neck) and the lumbar region (lower back).

When Do Disc Problems Necessitate Disc Replacement?

It depends! We will always have you try conservative therapy first, and if that fails, you may need to consider surgery to fix the issue. Dr. Baig will be able to let you know if you are the right candidate for a disc replacement surgery.

The best way to figure out if disc replacement surgery is the right choice for you is by talking through your medical history and current symptoms with a qualified Orthopedic Spine Surgeon (such as Dr. Baig). That having been said, the following may be signs that surgery may be “on the table”, pun intended:

  • You experience chronic pain, you’ve tried mitigating it with conservative treatment methods, and it isn’t going away.
  • You experience radiating pain (pain that travels down the arms or legs) from pinched nerves.
  • Your spinal stability is compromised, affecting your mobility.

Who Is Not a Good Candidate for Spinal Disc Replacement?

Contraindications for spinal disc replacement, be that in the cervical region or lumbar region, include:

  • Advanced spinal degradation
  • Weakened bones
  • Prior cervical spine surgery

Many of these conditions and issues are associated with age and certain medical conditions as well as lifestyle factors (smoking, obesity, etc).

Lumbar disc replacement

Types of Disc Replacements We Perform

“Disc replacement” and “disc replacement surgery” are umbrella terms for a variety of different procedures. It’s important to be well-informed about your options; given your medical history and current issues.

At Desert Spine and Scoliosis Center, we are experts in a variety of disc replacement surgery types, including:

  • Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF): is a surgery to treat severe neck pain. Unlike traditional surgery, ACDF accesses the disc through the throat, avoiding disruption of muscles and nerves in the back of the neck.
  • Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery: Intended to treat less severe instances of cervical spinal pain, this surgery is preferable to ACDF if you are a candidate for it. Disc replacement surgery is done anteriorly, meaning you’ll be lying on your back and an incision is made in the front of your neck.
  • Lumbar Disc Replacement Surgery: Disc replacement surgery in the lumbar region of the back is much preferable to lumbar spinal fusion for eligible patients. This surgery is performed anteriorly similarly to cervical disc replacement surgery, meaning you’ll be lying on your back and an incision is made in your abdomen for lumbar disc replacement.

Disc Replacement vs. Discectomy vs. Spinal Fusion

Spine surgery can get confusing, especially with so many different types available!

Disc replacement is just one type. Discectomy, on the other hand, is a more intense type of surgery that’s generally not on the “front line of defense”. The same holds true for spinal fusion, which is generally a more involved type of surgery.

Discover Your Surgical Options With Dr. Baig

Not sure if the pain you’re experiencing qualifies you for disc replacement surgery or another type of spinal surgery? At Desert Spine and Scoliosis Center, we are spine surgery experts. We can help you evaluate whether disc replacement or another treatment method is best for you.

What are you waiting for? Relief starts with a phone call! Give us a shout at (480) 993-1300. Or, feel free to reach out online for your medical evaluation.