Odessa Disc Replacement Doctor
If no treatment has eased your chronic back pain, there may be hope on the horizon. If doctors diagnosed you with degenerative disc disease, a disc replacement could ease your pain and give you back your quality of life. However, it is important to note that disc replacement is not the first line of treatment. Only after conservative treatments fail to provide relief over several months does a disc replacement become a consideration. An Odessa disc replacement doctor could provide you with pain relief and restore the mobility you once enjoyed. Read on to learn more about how a professional spine surgeon could help you today.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Discs in the spine consist of tough outer shells with soft, gel-like interiors. The aging process accelerates the dehydration of these discs, so they are no longer able to cushion the vertebrae. While some degree of disc degeneration is common in older adults, it does not necessarily correlate with back pain. If a patient suffers from back pain resulting from degenerative disc disease, the pain intensifies from standing or sitting.
That often means the patient suffers from chronic pain and may become dependent on pain medication for relief. Even if medication provides relief, few patients want to rely on painkillers as a long-term treatment. Disc replacement performed by an experienced Odessa disc replacement doctor may provide relief that makes medication unnecessary.
Who Qualifies for Disc Replacement?
Not everyone is a candidate for disc replacement surgery, and some common conditions can preclude patients from undergoing the procedure. Anyone who has had prior spinal or abdominal surgery is usually not a candidate for disc replacement. Other contraindications can include:
- Severe arthritis
- Spinal deformity
- More than two badly degenerated discs
If a patient is not a candidate for disc replacement, they still may be candidates for spinal fusion, another type of surgery with a good success rate. However, disc replacement allows the spine to move more normally than spinal fusion.
How Disc Replacement Works
A skilled Odessa disc replacement doctor performs the procedure via an abdominal incision. They expose the spine by moving the abdominal contents aside. The surgeon takes out the damaged disc while restoring the collapsed areas, and then inserts the new disc. They place two plastic or metal plates—or a combination of both materials—into the now vacant area. They then add a bearing between these plates, allowing the artificial disc to move in the same way a natural disc does. The surgery generally lasts between two to three hours.
Patients generally stay in the hospital for a couple of days after disc replacement surgery. Rehabilitation starts before they leave, with most patients getting up and walking the night of their operation. An Odessa disc replacement doctor designs a personalized walking and stretching program for each patient. Within a couple of weeks, abdominal core strength training is added to the mix.
Expect complete healing to take at least six weeks, but most patients can resume all but the most strenuous of normal activities within a month post-surgery. Patients should check in with their doctors at least annually so that they can monitor the condition of the disc.
Ask an Odessa Disc Replacement Doctor about Your Procedure
An Odessa disc replacement doctor can explain the procedure in more depth and answer any questions you may have. A disc replacement surgery is not for everyone, but scheduling a free consultation may help you find out if it is the right option for you.