Degenerative Disc Replacement

Everything you do during the day, once you stand upright, begins to test the spine's ability to support your body weight. Over time these repeated daily stresses and minor injuries could add up and begin to affect the discs in your spine.

As they accumulate, the disc eventually begins to suffer from the wear and tear, it begins to degenerate and may cause discogenic low back pain. Discogenic pain is a term back specialists use when referring to pain caused by a damaged intervertebral disc. A degenerating disc may cause pain as the disc begins to degenerate and there is some evidence that the disc itself becomes painful. Movements that play stress on the disc that may result in low back pain and also feel like the pain is coming from the buttocks area and even down into the upper thigh.

This condition can be relieved with a surgical procedure called artificial disc replacement. In this procedure, the damaged disc is replaced with a prosthetic metal and polyethylene disc. First, the damaged disc is removed and the end surfaces of the vertebral bodies are cleared of debris. The vertebral bodies are spread apart and the metal endplates are positioned and tapped into place. The polyethylene sliding core is inserted between the endplates and the vertebrae are then returned to a normal position. The pressure of the spinal column seats the endplates into the bones and secures the sliding core in place. The correct position of the prosthesis is verified with visual inspection and x-ray.