Chiropractic Examination

Can Artificial Discs Solve Degenerative Disc Disease?

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There is significant excitement among surgeons and patients following the recent FDA or Food and Drug Administration release of the Charité Artificial Disc (DePuy Spine, Inc.). The delight among patients with degenerative disc disease comes from the perception that there’s a safe way to eliminate pain from degenerative discs while maintaining normal movement. Several patients have developed advanced stages of disc degeneration requiring an additional fusion process or have heard about others with similar difficulties getting fusion processes before, who continue with constant pain or had more than one effort at fusion. They’ve also discovered the successful results following disc arthroplasty in Europe, which has been highly publicized by the media in America.

Lumbar Fusions and Other Discoveries

That is an exciting new addition to various therapies and methods for treating degenerative disc disease. An almost amazing quantity of progress has been made when looking at the way in which the evaluation and treatment for degenerative disc disease have developed over recent years. Many healthcare professionals can now recognize disc disorders with MRI and pain generators with discography and facet blocks. Now they could be performed through incisions that are barely observable either anteriorly through the abdomen or through the back, where only a decade past, lumbar fusions were performed through substantial posterior incisions. With the usage of instrumentation that is presently available, achievement rates for one amount of fusions approach 90 to 95 percent. Regrettably, not every patient who has degenerative disc disease and contains a successful fusion has a successful clinical result. There are still several patients for whom fusion will not effectively relieve pain.

Risks of Artificial Disc Replacement

Disc replacement arthroplasty has the prospect of the treatment of most of the spinal motion segment illnesses, which are currently being treated both successfully and not by one of the numerous fusion techniques. At this comparatively early phase of disc replacement development, many healthcare specialists don’t know all of the issues which will be encountered following these procedures. Because the surgical strategy is via the abdomen, either retroperitoneal or transperitoneal, in other words, around or through the gut, there are several foreseeable complications, including vascular injury, thrombophlebitis, or vein inflammation accompanied by blood clot formation, nerve root injuries, injury to the ureter, and retrograde ejaculation in men.

It’s also known that several disc replacements have failed and have been converted to some fusion with varying clinical consequences. Removing artificial discs, especially at the L4-5 level, poses a substantial risk of vascular injury due to scarring around the prosthesis. Surely, it’s known that artificial joints produce wear debris, which is not an issue with fusion and an inflammatory reaction that could escalate over time.

Early Results of Procedure

Spine specialists and other healthcare professionals, in general, are very positive and excited about total disc arthroplasty, and suitably so. Appropriate training via cadaveric labs and courses will help minimize the learning curve of the procedure to avoid other possible complications. There will undoubtedly be many improvements and modifications in the prosthetic layouts.

Early results are surely encouraging in the hands of the investigational surgeons but are fraught with the numerous problems common to create a new procedure. Total disc arthroplasty is likely to be a better option than fusion for several degenerative disorders of the lumbar spine as layout advancements continue being made and as further encounter defines the indicators because of its use.

Additional Topics: Understanding Mild Brain Injury

Brain injuries are common complications in our modern world. Approximately 2 million individuals each year experience a head injury in the United States alone. Although most brain or head injuries are not life-threatening, they could generate billions of dollars in annual revenue. Brain injuries are often categorized according to patient response. Only 1 out of 4 reported brain injuries are considered moderate or severe.


 

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The information herein on "Can Artificial Discs Solve Degenerative Disc Disease?" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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