Dunedin Disc Replacement Doctor

If you suffer from chronic back pain, a disc replacement may offer permanent relief. This surgery is primarily meant for those dealing with one or two degenerated discs that do not respond to conservative therapy. Though relatively new in Dunedin, this procedure has a good success rate for qualified candidates in Europe where doctors have been performing it for a long time. A professional Dunedin disc replacement doctor could help relieve your discomfort and restore your quality of life. Read on to learn more about how a compassionate spine surgeon could make a difference in your life today.

The Artificial Disc

The artificial disc used in disc replacement surgery consists of two plates, made either of medical grade metal, plastic, or a combination of both materials. A bearing added between the plates allows the artificial disc to move exactly as the natural disc did. If the patient lost some height due to disc degeneration, the artificial disc may even restore that extra inch or two. Consult with an experienced spine doctor to learn more.

Surgical Procedure

The patient receives general anesthesia for disc replacement. A qualified Dunedin disc replacement doctor will perform the operation via an abdominal incision. The surgeon moves abdominal contents aside, exposing the spine. The surgeon then removes the damaged disc, restores any collapsed sections, and then places the new disc in the area formerly occupied by the natural disc. Over time, bone grows over these disc plates. The entire procedure lasts between two and three hours.

Disc Replacement Qualifications

The criteria for disc replacement candidates is fairly strict, and not all patients will not meet it. The following conditions usually rule out disc replacement surgery:

  • Obesity
  • Spinal deformity
  • Previous spinal surgery
  • Previous abdominal surgery
  • Severe osteoarthritis
  • Serious nerve compression
  • More than two degenerated discs

Pregnant women must wait until after delivery to undergo this procedure. Even if someone is not a candidate for disc replacement surgery, that does not mean they are doomed to continue suffering from back pain. Another type of surgery such as spinal fusion can still alleviate one’s pain, although this operation does not offer as much freedom of movement as disc replacement.

Post-Surgery Recuperation

A patient recovering from this surgery should expect to stay in the hospital for about two days. Patients may be able to get up and walk a bit on the night of their surgery, and physical therapists can help them while they are in the hospital. Since there are no bones to heal in this procedure, recovery usually proceeds fairly quickly. A back brace is usually not necessary during the healing process.

A dedicated Dunedin disc replacement doctor puts together an individual exercise plan for each patient. Within a couple weeks after surgery, patients can start doing core abdominal muscle exercises. Complete recovery takes about six weeks, but most patients are performing the majority of normal tasks within a month after surgery. Most patients can even drive within one to two weeks after the surgery if their pain levels are mild.

Potential Risks

While most patients do very well after disc replacement surgery, there are risks with any operation. Potential disc replacement surgery risks include infection, disc loosening, disc failure, disc fracture, spinal stiffness, and spinal stenosis. Patients require regular monitoring so that a vigilant Dunedin disc replacement doctor may detect any changes in the disc as soon as possible and schedule corrective surgery.

Speak with a Dunedin Disc Replacement Doctor Today

No one should have to live with chronic back pain. If your back pain is the result of a degenerative disc that has not responded to a conservative treatment, a disc replacement may be able to ease your pain. If you would like more information about disc replacement, call a Dunedin disc replacement doctor today to arrange an appointment.