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Do I Need a Disc Replacement?

Do I Need a Disc Replacement?

Your spine, also called the backbone, is an intricate structure composed of vertebrae that provide support and allow you to move. There are spongy discs between your moveable vertebrae that provide cushioning. A disc may wear down over time or become damaged from an injury, in which case you may need a procedure called a disc replacement

Our team at Kellogg Brain and Spine can provide treatment to relieve your chronic back or neck pain. Dr. Jordi Kellogg, our board-certified neurosurgeon, specializes in disc replacement surgery, and he can help when you’re dealing with pain that won’t quit.

What are intervertebral discs?

Your spine houses your spinal cord, which is essential to life and everything that goes on inside of your body. As you can imagine, your spine needs to be strong and supported to keep your spinal cord protected from injury. Your vertebrae are the bones that surround your spinal cord to keep it safe.

In between the vertebrae are intervertebral discs, which have a tough outering covering that surrounds a soft center. These discs cushion and protect your vertebrae which allows your spine to move fluidly, without pain.

Because these discs aren’t hard like bone, they’re more prone to degeneration and injury. Degenerative disc disease is a condition that may lead to the premature deterioration of your intervertebral discs. 

When the disc wears down or the inner gel-like center leaks out, it can irritate or compress the spinal nerves, which leads to back pain. In some cases, you can have your disc replaced to provide the support to your spine that you need.

The facts on disc replacement surgery

If you’re dealing with pain in your arms, legs, neck, or back due to damage in a disc, Dr. Kellogg may recommend that you undergo disc replacement surgery. 

During this procedure, Dr. Kellogg removes the worn down or damaged disc and smooths any bone spurs that are in the way, then places an artificial disc. The artificial disc is made of ceramic composite and titanium, and functions almost exactly like your natural disc would. 

With an artificial disc replacement, Dr. Kellogg is able to give you the same functionality and movement as you had with your natural disc, without compromising range of motion in your spine. It also helps to decrease your chronic pain.

The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis, but you may require an overnight stay in the hospital in some cases. You’ll start physical therapy soon after surgery.

Are you a candidate for disc replacement?

While disc replacement surgery is an amazing alternative to other types of spine procedures, it’s not the best option for everyone. At your consultation, Dr. Kellogg reviews your medical history and any imaging studies of your spine to determine what treatment is best for you..

Typically, you’re a good candidate for an artificial disc if you:

You also need to be in good health and not significantly overweight. The more overweight you are, the more stress is put on the artificial disc in your spine. 

You also need to be able to have physical therapy afterward to ensure that you get the best mobility possible after your procedure. Ultimately, Dr. Kellogg helps you decide if this type of surgery is a good fit.

Don’t suffer through one more day of pain from a disc problem. Call one of our offices in Portland or Wilsonville, Oregon, to schedule a consultation. You can also click the request an appointment button while you’re here on our website. 

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