HealthWatch: Artificial Disc Replacement: New Option for Back Pain

woman sleeping in a spa

Back pain effects one in ten people and is a leading cause of missed work. Many try alternative treatments such as medication, chiropractic, physical therapy and the like. But now doctors are looking to provide spinal fusion surgery as an option when other treatments fail to relieve the pain. This can result in limited movement in some patients with a long lead time for healing. Artificial discs are now being created to replace the damaged discs similar to replacement knee or hip joints.

Key Takeaways:

  • As people get older the discs in their backs can bulge and the spinal nerves compress
  • While past traditional fusion surgery resulted in limited successful movement, a new method developed at spine Surgery in Georgetown University Hospital in Washington DC appears to be more successful
  • The new method is to enter from the front then inserting a device that has a coating that bonds to the bone creating a new disc and allowing free movement

“In the past, fusion surgery was the only option, but that led to limited movement. Now surgeons and patients have a potentially huge new option for a pain-free life.”

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