Are you suffering from limited mobility ad chronic pain as a result of herniated or degenerative discs? If so, then it might be time you reflect on a surgical alternative. Typically, ADR (Artificial disc replacement), otherwise called total disc replacement (TDR), is a practical approach to tingling, pain correction, and mobility loss caused by a herniated or degenerative disc.
Nonetheless, you and your physician need to consider several factors before making your final decision for surgery. Below are three crucial things worth considering about artificial disc surgery.
1. Do you really need surgery?
What is perhaps the most crucial consideration is whether surgery is the most appropriate step for your condition. Generally, treatment depends on how severe your condition is. Let’s check out the common disorders that might need artificial disc surgery.
· Degenerative Disc Disease: naturally, the discs located between our vertebrae degenerate with age. These discs usually offer a range of motion, support, and cushion. With aging, the degeneration of these discs results in no mobility loss or pain. However, degeneration of discs located in the neck or cervical body regions for others caused tingling in the arms, numbness, function loss, and pain ration down the arms.
Degeneration of discs can be caused by traumatic injury, collagen loss, dehydration within your disc, or even arthritis. Unfortunately, it can cause herniation, a condition we outline below.
· Disc Herniation: when your disc gets injured or degenerates, it may leak its characteristic contents within the surrounding region, tapping pressure on your spinal cord or nerves. This often causes similar symptoms to those associated with degenerative discs, namely numbness, pain, and tingling in your limbs.
Whatever your condition, whether herniation, disc degeneration, or both, the medical world now offers numerous non-surgical treatment alternatives you can contemplate before settling for surgery. Several cases usually resolve naturally, and you only need anti-inflammatory and pain medications. You can also consider several non-surgical options like facet blocks and epidurals, in addition to physical therapy like using cold/hot therapy. Even so, for cases where treatment does not help treat, surgery then becomes the ultimate option.
2. Disc Fusion vs. ADR Surgery: Which is the better option?
Herniation or disc degeneration can be corrected by two major surgical procedures mainly:
· ACDF Surgery: it is a process called anterior cervical discectomy and fusion where a surgeon removes the disc and replaces it using bone grafts.
· Artificial disc replacement: a process using synthetic components that mimic a natural disc
The Disc removal and replacement process is slightly more advantageous than ACDF for a few reasons, including:
· Preservation of neck mobility: this ability is typically lost during the fusion of bones during ACDF
· Eradicates the need to wear a brace or collar: mainly since the discs effectively move with the artificial replacements.
With ADR, the risk involved is typically what you would expect with regular surgery, including infection and pain during surgery. This makes it necessary that you choose a modern, immaculate facility. Additionally, after an ACDR, the graft may also fail to heal well, leading to non-union of your bones and potentially necessitating further surgery.
3. Finding the Best Surgeon for You
Finally, perhaps the most crucial consideration for artificial disc surgery is finding the best surgeon for you. Ideally, you want a Spine surgeon whose expertise is in ADR and who has ample experience in the field. What’s more, the surgeon should be certified as a Spine MD, meaning that you will get the best possible results.
Your surgeon should have Spine MD fellowship training and board certification and have a good reputation as a reliable medical professional. Besides this, ensure that you choose an accredited facility with an extensive array of therapeutic, surgical, and rehabilitative services hence the guarantee of continued professional care throughout your treatment period to your ultimate recovery.
As you contemplate and make arrangements for an ADR surgery, you must consider all available options. Start by familiarizing yourself with the basics for an idea of what you should expect, and ensure you only choose a professional and accredited Spine MD who offers radical treatment in a modern, accredited facility.