Who is a Candidate for Artificial Disc Replacement?

Typically, artificial disc is considered a treatment option for a herniated disc in the low back or neck. It typically does NOT relate to any back or neck pain limited to the low back or neck, or any soft tissue injury like a muscle or ligament strain.

Pain or weakness radiating into an arm or hand might imply a herniated disc in the neck. Pain or weakness radiating into a leg or foot might imply a herniated disc in the low back. In that case a spine surgeon or your family physician would order an MRI diagnostic test that might confirm the presence of a herniated disc.

But it’s crucial to understand that not all herniated discs can be treated with an artificial disc. In the low back in particular, artificial disc replacement is still relatively new, and the disc technology is evolving. Most spine surgeons are cautious about the use of an artificial disc in the low back, especially when taking into account the age of the person and if they might outlive the lifespan of the mechanical disc which would require complex revision surgery.

While artificial disc replacement in the neck is becoming more widespread because there is less weight and stress placed on the artificial disc compared to a lumbar disc, and because neck surgery is less complex than lumbar surgery, there are still many issues that a spine surgeon will consider for cervical disc replacement.

The best approach is to seek out a spine surgeon who is proficient in artificial disc replacement and listen to their opinion of your case for an unbiased assessment of the best treatment options for your particular case. An expert in artificial disc replacement can be found at the verified listing of Centers of Artificial Disc.

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