At Orthopedic Specialists, our specialty-trained orthopedic spine surgeons are highly skilled in performing artificial disk replacement (also referred to as artificial lumbar disk replacement or artificial disk implantation). Orthopedic Specialists' doctors are recognized throughout the Fort Dodge-area as leaders in performing specialized spinal procedures. That means, your spine surgery will be performed by a team whose extraordinary base of shared knowledge and experience is virtually unmatched.
Artificial disk replacement is a progressive procedure used to help correct low back pain. Similar to an anterior lumbar fusion, the spine surgeon creates a three to five-inch incision down the center of the abdomen. The organs and blood vessels are carefully repositioned to the side, allowing the surgeon to access the spinal column without disrupting the nerves. The degenerated disk is removed and replaced with a mechanical device that helps restore spinal function. There are several different disk designs, however, most surgeons use one with a combination of metal (cobalt chromium or titanium alloy) and plastic (polyethylene).
Artificial disk replacement is a major surgical procedure that requires the patient to be under general anesthesia. This means you won’t be awake for your surgery and will therefore be relaxed and feel no pain. Because disk replacement surgery involves operating on the spine for approximately two to three hours, the patient typically has to undergo an extensive recuperation process involving follow-up care and physical therapy that may last several weeks to several months, depending on the individual situation and what the spine surgeon views as best. In addition, it is important that prior to surgery, the patient and surgeon develop reasonable expectations of pain relief.
To learn more about what to expect when you undergo artificial disk replacement, please visit our Surgery Preparation/Recovery page and interactive video.