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Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery

Artificial Disc Replacement

Artificial disc replacement, or disc arthroplasty, is an innovative surgical procedure to restore stability in the spinal column when cushioning discs between vertebrae have been damaged or deteriorated. Princeton Brain, Spine & Sports Medicine’s experienced neurosurgeons are fellowship-trained to perform this state-of-the-art procedure at leading affiliated hospitals in PA and NJ.

What Is Artificial Disc Replacement?

For years, the traditional treatment for herniated, damaged or degenerated spinal discs has been a procedure called spinal fusion, where two or more vertebrae are joined together to stabilize the spine and alleviate pain in the neck and back. This fusion of vertebrae results in a loss of spinal flexibility. With artificial disc replacement, the damaged disc is restored with an FDA-approved replacement disc consisting of two metal plates or two metal plates separated by plastic padding. The metal plates glide over one another and the plastic disc, restoring the natural function of the spine and preserving the patient’s ability to bend forward, backward and side-to-side.

Who is a Candidate for an Artificial Disc Replacement?

This procedure is a relatively new option for patients with disc damage who have not responded well to standard non-operative treatments like rest, injections, physical therapy and bracing.

Physicians report excellent pain relief and stabilization results for patients who are younger adults and meet these guidelines, including:

  • Damage in a single cervical disc & no adjacent discs
  • No evidence of osteoporosis, bone spurs, infection or significant arthritis
  • Normal spinal flexibility at the fusion level

With the patient under general anesthesia and lying face-up, the physician makes a small incision to expose the spinal column. X-ray imaging and an operating microscope aid the surgeon in confirming the location of the affected vertebrae, removing the disc and inserting the artificial replacement. A final x-ray image confirms correct placement of the artificial disc before the physician sutures the incision. This minimally invasive surgery usually requires one to two hours for completion.

After the procedure, the patient may be discharged the same or following day. In most cases, pain abates within days and other nerve symptoms improve rapidly.

Some symptoms resolve in a matter of weeks.

  • Maintains full range of motion in the spine
  • Preserves a more normal neck & spine physiology
  • Requires less downtime for recovery
  • Keeps adjacent vertebrae from degenerating
  • Eliminates possible complications of spinal fusion surgery

Advanced Spine Treatments at Princeton Brain, Spine & Sports Medicine

Innovative treatment options like artificial disc replacement from Princeton Brain, Spine & Sports Medicine restore health and quality of life for patients. Our team of fellowship-trained surgeons uses sophisticated techniques, partnering with our network of affiliated hospitals to give PA and NJ patients better results and faster recoveries. Call us at 215.741.3141 in PA or 609.921.9001 in NJ to check insurance coverage or make an appointment. For your convenience, you can also request additional information about artificial disc replacement online.

Request an Appointment Submit an appointment request on our patient portal or contact our New Jersey and Pennsylvania campuses to speak with a patient advocate. Schedule an Appointment

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