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Degenerative Disc Replacement

Degenerative Disc TreatmentDegenerative Disc Disorder › Disc Replacement

Disc Replacement

Degenerative Disc Treatment Option

Degenerative disc replacement, also known as intervertebral disc replacement, is a procedure carried out for the treatment of lower back pain. This treatment can only be successful on those whose lower back pain results from degenerative disc disorder.

The joints within the spine consist of fluid filled sacs known as intervertebral discs. The discs allow limited movement of the spinal column allowing you to twist and bend. The discs also give the spine the flexibility it requires to allow bending. The discs maintain stability of the segments of the spinal column while absorbing load and distributing it appropriately.

The intervertebral discs consist of two parts, the nucleus and the outer annulus. The nucleus contains Type II collagen and proteoglycans. These molecules are capable of absorbing load (weight or shock) and distributing it. They are thus crucial for the shock absorption. The outer annulus contains a layer of Type I collagen. These molecules work to stabilize motion in the spinal column. Both the nucleus and the outer annulus are important for the intervertebral disc to perform its functions properly.

Degenerative Disc Treatment Option

Degenerative disc replacement involves the replacement of the damaged disc with a prosthetic. The approaches used in this surgical procedure may either be biological construction or artificial disc replacement. Surgical procedures vary depending on the level and type of damage exhibited by the patient. The surgical procedure may involve the replacement of the nucleus of the damaged disc only. In cases where extensive damage has occurred, the whole disc may be replaced.

Artificial disc replacement is a popular procedure and
involves the use of an artificial prosthetic.

Current prosthetics include a cobalt chromium alloy endplate with a polyethylene core. The polyethylene used has a high molecular weight.

Intervertebral disc replacement is normally recommended to patients suffering from degenerative disc disorder on one or two levels. The surgical procedure allows for the restoration of segment mobility and eliminates pain. The procedure also spares the patient from experiencing abnormal biochemical processes in adjacent segments as a result of the fusion of the vertebrae as would be the case in fusion surgery.

Disc Replacement
Detailed information regarding disc replacement
degenerative disc treatment option

Article published February 25th, 2011
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