The disc located between the individual spine vertebra bones forms a soft spongy cushion and helps in the flexibility of the spine. Hence, any degeneration of the disc(s) causes severe back pain which may require the patient to undergo spinal surgery or even artificial disc replacement surgery.
Following are the types of Disc diseases indicated for Lumbar Disc Replacement:
A degenerative disc occurs due to aging and drying up of the inner jelly material or the cracking of the outer disc layer. When the vertebrae have less padding, the spine becomes unstable. The body starts building tiny projections along the bone edge of the spine to compensate for the loss of padding. These projections press against the spinal nerves causing severe pain.
The degenerative disc diseaseis usually treated by spinal fusion surgeryand decompression surgery.In spinal fusion, the bones between the vertebrae surrounding the painful discs are connected directly so that the movement in between the discs is restricted thus relieving the pressure. The spinal decompression surgeryis carried out by removing the part of disc joint which is affecting the nerve root, giving more space to the nerve root thus relieving the pressure and allowing healing to take place.
The ruptured disc pain also known as herniated disc pain is caused when an injured or weak disc causes its inner portion to protrude through the outer ring. The inner jelly material of the disc bulges out and presses against the nerves causing back and leg pain causing spinal decompression,leading to numbness and pain along the affected nerve.
The rupture or tear in the disc radiates from the lower back area down to either one or both the legs. The herniated disc painsometimes causes numbness and tingling in the leg. Muscle spasms and cramps are also experienced especially at the back or leg.
The herniated disc treatmentinvolves both conservative and surgical methods:
The spinal decompression therapy(nonsurgical decompression therapy) involves use of a traction table or motorized device to stretch the spine in order to relieve back and leg pain. This is done to get a negative intra disc pressure which helps in:
But this therapy is recommended only for certain conditions of the spine pain, and it has to be discontinued if the symptoms worsen.
In a disc replacement surgery, the damaged unhealthy spinal disc is completely removed and an artificial one is inserted between the vertebrae. For a back disc replacement surgery, the patient should not have conditions like osteoporosis, spondylolisthesis, or abnormal spine curvature. The artificial discs inserted are of metal-plastic bearing surfaces.
The herniated disc pain can also be corrected by spinal fusion surgery. Here, the disc space is fused together to remove the motion around the painful discs. But the disadvantage is that it gives greater load to the next upper and lower discs. Therefore the artificial disc replacement surgery is the most preferred surgery for herniated disc.