If you suffer back pain, you’re not alone. It is the leading cause of doctor visits in the United States. But, there is hope. Gundersen Health System is one of a select group of facilities that offers a disc replacement surgery called cervical and lumbar disc arthroplasty.
Before disc arthroplasty, the only surgical option for severe back and neck pain was lumbar fusion or cervical fusion. With these procedures, surgeons are able to relieve the pain, but at a price. Spinal fusion relieves the pain by eliminating motion at the cause of the pain. This forces the patient to lose some mobility.
Spinal fusion can also create a spinal imbalance. The load from the fused joint is transferred to other joints, potentially leading to deterioration and further back problems five to ten years down the road.
With disc arthroplasty, doctors are able to restore motion. Patients aren’t putting additional pressure on adjacent joints, and have fewer problems with deterioration.