When common back problems like herniated discs are causing nerve pain that other treatments can’t resolve, you could benefit from artificial disc replacement surgery. Jorge Isaza, MD, and his team at Spine Specialists of Louisiana in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, specialize in advanced spine surgery techniques like artificial disc replacement. This procedure can help you retain flexibility in your spine, which traditional fusion surgery can’t. Call Spine Specialists of Louisiana today for more information, or book an appointment using the online form.

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What is artificial disc replacement?

Artificial disc replacement (ADR) is a treatment Dr. Isaza might recommend for a bulging or herniated disc.

The discs in between your vertebrae have a soft, shock-absorbent center inside a tough outer casing. If the casing weakens because of problems like degenerative disc disease or ruptures after a severe injury, the soft center can push through the outer casing.

If the bulging or herniated disc compresses any of the nerves in your spine, it can cause pain and feelings like tingling or prickling. You might suffer numbness or a “pins-and-needles” sensation, too, depending on which nerves are affected.

When would I need artificial disc replacement surgery?

Artificial disc replacement surgery isn’t the first treatment to consider when you have disc problems, but it becomes an option if other approaches aren’t successful.

Many people find that conservative treatments like physical therapy and medication help resolve back pain caused by herniated discs. Injectable treatments like epidural steroids can also help.

If these treatments aren’t taming your pain, surgery might be the best option. When it’s possible to preserve your disc, Dr. Isaza performs operations such as endoscopic lumbar discectomy, taking out only the herniated section of the disc.

If the damage to the disc is beyond repair, Dr. Isaza can discuss the options for removing the disc altogether.

What are the advantages of artificial disc replacement?

Traditional surgical approaches to disc problems often involve fusion, which means removing the damaged disc and joining together the vertebrae on either side.

While this can be an effective way of relieving pain caused by herniated discs, it does mean you lose the range of movement in that part of your spine.

Artificial disc replacement is an advanced approach in which Dr. Isaza inserts a synthetic disc into the space left by removing your damaged disc. The artificial disc mimics the natural way your spine moves, preserving at least some degree of movement.

Other benefits include reducing your risk of developing degenerative disc disease and avoiding the possible complications of using bone grafts in spinal fusion surgery.

You’re also likely to be able to return to normal activities sooner after artificial disc replacement than you would following fusion surgery.

Which discs are suitable for artificial disc replacement?

You can benefit from both artificial disc replacement for discs in your neck (cervical) and in your lower back (lumbar). Artificial disc replacement isn’t suitable for all patients, but Dr. Isaza can advise you whether you’re a good candidate.

Dr. Isaza has been working with artificial discs since the early 2000s. During that time, he was the lead clinical investigator for research on the artificial lumbar disc, and he developed the protocol that led to the approval of artificial disc replacement by the Food and Drug Administration.

He was also the first surgeon in Louisiana to perform artificial disc replacement surgery on both the lumbar and cervical spine. To take advantage of his expertise, call Spine Specialists of Louisiana today or book an appointment online.