Disc Replacements can be performed in the cervical or lumbar spine. The outcomes are typically better in the cervical spine versus the lumbar spine. Disc replacements are an alternative to spinal fusion. It is used if the primary problem is disc degeneration or disc bulging/herniation in the absence of significant arthritis in the facet joints. Theoretically, disc replacement can preserve motion and decrease adjacent segment degeneration. However, these advantages are largely theoretical and unproven thus far.
In disc replacement surgery the disc is removed. A motion preservation device is inserted into the disc space that allows for flexion/extension and rotation through the device. The bone of the vertebrae grow into the devices surface holding it in place.
Depending on how many levels and the location, could be outpatient or require an overnight stay in the hospital.
While not technically minimally invasive, care will be made to keep incisions and tissue disruption to a minimum.
This procedure will cause minimal blood loss with limited tissue disruption.
Patients are usually up and walking hours after surgery. Often back to work 1 week after surgery. No heavy lifting, twisting or bending for 6 weeks.
The procedure is approximately 60 minutes.
Not all patients and procedures are the same. The above is an example of what the typical patient can expect from some minimally invasive procedures.