St. Petersburg Disc Replacement Doctor

Disc issues are among the most common triggers of long-term back pain. Most people experiencing these issues may recover after undergoing conservative, non-invasive treatment, but that is not true of all patients. For some, disc replacement may offer the best chance to regain range of motion and a life without pain. A talented disc replacement doctor can determine whether you are a good candidate for disc replacement. If that proves the case, you may be able to experience not only pain relief, but a better quality of life overall.

Patients in St. Petersburg Who May Be Candidates

Disc replacement is not suitable for everyone with a degenerated or herniated disc. Candidates for disc replacement should not have undergone previous lower back or abdominal surgeries. They also should not have any spinal deformities, and their issues should be limited to just one or two discs. They should also not suffer from other joint problems or have serious arthritic problems. Disc replacement surgeries are best performed on patients of normal weight.

Process Involved in a Disc Replacement

When performing disc replacement surgery, the surgeon makes an incision into the patient’s abdomen. They move the contents of the abdomen aside, exposing the spine. The surgeon then removes the damaged disc and restores any areas that have collapsed. Insertion of the artificial disc follows, with the surgeon placing two metal plates in the area formerly occupied by the disc. They then place a plastic bearing between the plates, allowing the artificial disc to move. The surgery generally lasts approximately three hours.

After the Surgery

Disc replacement generally does not require a long hospital stay. Most patients go home within two days of the operation. After the surgery, patients should expect restriction on strenuous activities for up to six weeks, but a customized exercise program is an essential part of disc replacement recovery. Initial exercises may consist of stretching and walking, but abdominal core exercises may be added once the patient is ready for them. By six weeks post-surgery, most patients are ready to resume the lives they had prior to disc pain.

As with any kind of replacement therapy, regular monitoring may be necessary. Patients may have to visit their doctor a minimum of once a year, so the doctor can determine the condition of their artificial disc.

Side Effects of Disc Replacement

Most patients do not experience any complications after disc surgery, but there are risks with any sort of procedure. Possible side effects of disc replacement surgery include:

  • Infection
  • Disc breakage or loosening
  • Dislocation of the disc
  • Stiffening of the spine
  • Spinal stenosis

How a St. Petersburg Disc Replacement Doctor Can Help

If conservative treatment has not worked, a doctor may recommend artificial disc replacement. Tests are necessary to determine whether you are a good candidate for disc replacement. The St. Petersburg disc replacement doctor can help you understand the disc replacement procedure, rehabilitation, and any possible side effects. It is crucial that your questions are answered satisfactorily, so you may make a fully informed decision about undergoing disc replacement surgery. If you suffer from chronic back pain due to disc issues and would like to know whether you are a candidate for disc replacement, call a St. Petersburg disc replacement doctor to learn about your options.