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Artificial Disc Replacement at Winthrop-University Hospital

Preserving spinal motion through expert artificial disc replacement surgery

A spinal disc is a cushioning structure located between the individual bones of the spine (the vertebrae). Composed of an outer part and inner core, discs are flexible enough to allow the spine to bend. Damage and degeneration of the discs can occur due to age, accidents, general wear-and-tear through everyday activities, or genetics.

Traditionally, the treatment for disc pain and disc degeneration was spinal fusion, a surgical procedure in which diseased disc tissue is removed and bone is placed between the vertebral bodies. However, by removing disc tissue and eliminating movement, pain may be significantly reduced but range of motion can be compromised.

Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery

An Advanced Alternative to Spinal Fusion Surgery

Artificial disc replacement (ADR) is a recent innovation in the treatment of disc degeneration, and involves replacing the affected disc joint with an artificial one made of metal and plastic.

ADR can be performed on the lower back (lumbar) or the neck (cervical). During artificial disc replacement surgery, an artificial disc device is placed into the worn-out disc space. The purpose and advantage of artificial disc replacement is to replace the disc, while preserving motion. This potentially treats the underlying back pain while also protecting patients from developing problems at an adjacent level of the spine.