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When spinal discs are damaged or diseased, the vertebrae and spine do not have the support they need. Herniated discs or flattened discs can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots in the spine, causing pain and many other chronic symptoms. Artificial disc replacement (ADR) is an alternative to disc removal with vertebrae fusion surgery, a minimally invasive option we offer at DOCS Health in Los Angeles.

Artificial discs are made from metal or a plastic-like material that resembles the cushion of a spinal disc. Instead of removing a damaged or diseased disc completely and fusing the surrounding vertebrae together, ADR surgery involves only removing the inner portion of the disc and replacing it with an implant. This can allow more spine mobility than a fusion, which can be beneficial for some patients with painful spinal disc conditions.

Cervical ADR Surgery

The most common area in the spine for ADR surgery is the cervical or neck region. Fusion surgery can limit neck mobility – using ADR can improve the movement of the cervical spine compared to fusing the vertebrae. This can reduce stress on the other vertebrae that can occur with fusion surgery.

Thoracic ADR Surgery

The thoracic spine does not move or bend as much as the cervical and lumbar spine. Degenerative disc disease, herniated discs and other spinal disc damage are less likely to occur in the thoracic spine, but they do happen. ADR surgery is not commonly recommended for thoracic spinal disc conditions, as mobility of the spine is less vital, but it may be an option for some patients with chronic pain or other symptoms.

Lumbar ADR Surgery

Spinal disc damage in the lumbar spine is common and can result in back pain and radiating symptoms. When degenerative disc disease or other lumbar disc conditions result in chronic symptoms which are not alleviated with conservative treatments, removal of the disc may be recommended. For some patients, artificial disc replacement surgery for damaged lumbar discs may be a better option than a discectomy with fusion.

ADR surgery can be a viable alternative to a disc removal with interbody fusion, allowing more spine mobility and less stress on the spine. To learn more about cervical, thoracic and lumbar artificial disc replacement surgery, contact us at DOCS Health in Beverly Hills, CA.