Disc arthroplasty is a disc replacement surgery that helps relieve back and neck pain without taking away a patient’s mobility. Gundersen Health System offers two disc arthroplasty surgeries - cervical disc replacement for the neck and lumbar disc replacement for the back.
Most of the patients who are candidates for this spine surgery are between the age of 18 and 60. The reason the procedure is more targeted to younger patients is because the patient cannot have arthritis in the joints. Many patients over the age of 60 are already experiencing arthritis.
Lumbar disc arthroplasty is an inpatient procedure and done under general anesthesia. Patients lie on their backs during the procedure. The surgeon makes a small incision in the abdomen and removes the unhealthy disc. They replace the unhealthy disc with an artificial disc.
Patients typically return home within one to three days. Doctors recommend patients take it easy until the bone attaches to the new disc. Once this happens, patients have no restrictions.
Cervical disc arthroplasty is performed as a same-day surgery procedure.
Patients who have the lumbar disc arthroplasty surgery are assessed before and after the surgery. Seven tests help determine if daily tasks are less painful after the surgery. The tests are done before the surgery, and six months and one year after the surgery.