Lumbar Disc Replacement

Back pain is a common complain of individuals these days and usual reason or problem is because of DDD or Degenerative Disc Disease. This is one condition that produces back pain as a result of the wearing away of the disc that serves as cushion between the vertebrae in the spine. This spinal disc aids in maintaining the position of the spine as well as lets motion and flexibility between vertebrae. That is why man has the ability to bend or twist as well as stand up straight.

When there is disc degeneration then back pain happens. When these spinal discs start to wear away, it can cause a lot of problem. One among the many problems that can arise is lumbar disc degeneration whose usual symptom is low back pain. Wearing of the spinal disc in some ways are normal and is a result of aging. There are individuals who does not experience any back pain and yet their MRI results shows wearing away of disc. It is therefore vital that your doctor will identify the real cause of your back problem before starting any treatment plan.

Current Used Treatment for Lumbar Disc Degeneration

Spine Fusion Surgery

So far the best treatment considered for degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine when all conventional treatment has failed is spine fusion. Spine fusion surgery involves the process of removing the damaged disc and promotes bone growth in the area where the damaged disc is removed. Since the disc is replace by bones it now loses its flexibility which means motion of the spine in that level is no longer allowed. At this segment the spine doesn’t move anymore thus relief of pain is experience

But then again there are problems too with spine fusion surgery. First and foremost the rate of success for this procedure is only eighty percent. Second is when fusing happens it now decreases motion of the back which can lead to stiffness and last but not the least, stiffness in the back as a result from fusing, the spine above and below the fusion experience more stress. This can develop problems in the disc below or above (J Am Acad Orthop Surg 2006).

Lumbar Disc Replacement

Just like joint replacement, lumbar disc replacement involves the same process. In lumbar spine its aim is to remove the damaged disc and replace it with a plastic or metal implant and this implant will work like a normal disc. The advantage with lumbar disc replacement against spine fusion is that the disc that is replace still allows motion in that part of the spine and thus does not put any stress in the adjacent levels.

However, lumbar disc replacement is still a new procedure. This procedure has not been done on enough patients so that it is too early to tell whether this is much better than the spine fusion surgery. Also it is early to tell what possible problems may arise with lumbar disc replacement.