Disc Replacement Surgery
A newer surgical option for the treatment of painful discs in the US is artificial disc replacement. Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR), also known as Disc Arthroplasty (literally “surgical replacement of the disc”), is an operative spine procedure, in which the dysfunctional disc is replaced with a synthetic disc.
With artificial disc replacement, pain relief is brought about by removal of the painful disc and motion is maintained with the use of a prosthetic implant made of metal (with or without a plastic bearing surface). This is more similar in theory to the artificial hip, knee, and shoulder joints that orthopedic surgeons have been using for more that 35 years to maintain motion and relieve the pain of arthritic extremity joints. However, there is a significant difference in that only one of the three joints that are present at each vertebral level is being replaced, whereas a hip or knee joint the total joint is replaced.