Disc problems in your back are debilitating. Being unsure of how to treat them can add to the pain. While many people are wary of having a back procedure, there is little to fear. If you’ve been experiencing disc problems, you may want to consider having a disc replacement for relief.
Here is how you can know if disc replacement may be what you need.
Causes of Disc Issues
Some people believe that disc problems only result from aging. But, several factors contribute to disc issues. One of the leading causes of disc pain is degenerative disc disease. Nearly 40% of adults over 40 have at least one degenerated disc, and 80% of people by 80 years old. If you experience symptoms such as
- Stabbing pain
- Radiating pain
- Weakened arms or legs
- Pain that worsens when sitting
- Numbness in the extremities
It could be a sign of degenerative disc disease.
Other causes of disc problems include high-impact sports, physical labor, or being overweight.
When Is Disc Replacement Necessary?
Most disc issues don’t require surgery, but there are cases when disc replacement surgery is necessary. If you’ve tried to treat your disc pain conservatively, disc surgery may be what you need for relief. Whether or not you’re a good candidate for disc replacement surgery depends on your unique needs and symptoms.
What Happens With Disc Replacement Surgery?
The thought of a long procedure and lengthy recovery periods is intimidating. But, disc replacement surgery can be a non-invasive option to get you back to enjoying life.
Most patients with disc replacement surgery have shorter hospital stays compared to other procedures. Shorter hospital stays help in recovery and returning to normal activities. The surgery involves a small incision at the neck, removing the damaged disc, and filling the space with an artificial disc.
Once your procedure is over, you’re encouraged to walk as much as your body can handle.
You’ll have to avoid lifting objects over 5 pounds and keep your activities light for 2-3 weeks. Disc replacement surgery takes an average of 3-5 weeks for recovery. But, the timeline and results depend on your progress and your doctor’s advice.
If you have back pain and are wondering if you may need disc replacement surgery, please call the office of New York City spine surgeon, Dr. Todd J. Albert. Schedule a consultation today at 212-606-1004.