Artificial Disc Replacement Over Fusion Surgery

When two neighboring discs of the vertebrae become compressed, wear out, and produce unimaginable pain and numbness, artificial disc replacement surgery can be a better option than traditional fusion surgery. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery published a report that outlines a two-year post-surgery study in 2011. The report confirmed the idea that artificial disc replacement is a viable alternative to fusion surgery.
At ONE Brain and Spine Center, our ideology is formulated around a conservative approach to treatment. Dr. Burak Ozgur believes in finding the least invasive and most effective way to treat any spinal condition. Located in Irvine, California residents can expect their diagnosis and treatment to fit their needs and work to improve their overall quality of life.
Discs are the cushions between each vertebrae of the spine. They allow the back to be flexible while at the same time providing ample stability. If a disc becomes injured, it loses its pliability and functionality. When injury occurs, the nerves become pinched, causing pain to the spine and other parts of the body.
An artificial disc replacement is intended to preserve the natural movement of the spine by replacing a disc with an artificial substitute. A fusion surgery is designed to treat the damage from a degenerative disc disease by replacing the damaged disc with bone.
Rick B. Delamarter, co-medical director of the Spine Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and first author of the article explains how this study examined artificial disc replacement and fusion surgery for two contiguous discs. Similar studies only compared single-disc replacement with fusion. For Delamarter’s study, compared the results from a disc replacement group with patient results of a fusion group. The two therapies were found to produce comparable outcomes but disc replacement was suggested as having more advantages.
The participants in both groups had less pain and did not have to rely heavily on medication 24 months after their surgeries. The percentages were better for the disc replacement group; 73 percent met the pain improvement criteria, while 60 percent of the fusion patients met it. Only 19 percent of the disc replacement group needed to continue medication, and 40 percent of the fusion group needed narcotics.
The article also examined each procedure and reported that artificial disc replacement surgery was quicker, had less blood loss and hospital stay, and patients had improved mobility at a faster rate.
ONE Brain & Spine Center is the premier spine and brain center in Irvine, California, offering minimally invasive spine surgeries and minimally invasive orthopedic surgeries. For more information or to make an appointment, please call (949) 383-4190.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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