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4 Signs It's Time to Consider Disc Replacement Surgery

Aug 02, 2023
4 Signs It's Time to Consider Disc Replacement Surgery
Surgery is rarely the first treatment we consider for painful back conditions. But there does come a time when damaged discs are best addressed with an operation. Our team discusses when and why it might be time for disc replacement surgery.

Disc replacement surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that relieves back pain by replacing damaged or diseased spinal discs with artificial discs that mimic natural function. Disc replacement can provide life-changing benefits, but like any surgical procedure, timing is crucial.

Our team at Integrity Spine & Orthopedics in Jacksonville, Florida specializes in top-level orthopedic and sports medicine services that relieve pain, restore mobility, and improve your quality of life.

We’re also committed to providing the best treatment for your needs at the right time. Here are four signs that might indicate it's time to contemplate disc replacement surgery.

1. Persistent pain

Persistent pain, especially that which interferes with your everyday activities, limits mobility, or prevents you from resting, may indicate a need for disc replacement surgery.

Conditions that may require disc replacement include degenerative disc disease, which causes spinal discs to dry out and collapse, or a ruptured (herniated) disc. Herniated discs occur when the soft inner core of a disc pushes through the outer core and encroaches on nearby nerves or other spinal structures.

2. Inadequate response to conservative treatments

Back or neck pain caused by disc problems often responds well to conservative treatments like physical therapy, oral pain medication, or epidural steroid injections to relieve inflammation.

However, your Integrity Spine & Orthopedics provider may suggest surgical disc replacement if your symptoms persist or worsen despite these measures.

3. Imaging tests show significant disc damage

Diagnostic studies such as MRIs, CT scans, or discograms can provide a clear image of your spinal discs. If these imaging tests show significant disc damage, you may require disc replacement surgery for symptom relief.

4. Neurological symptoms

In addition to pain, if you're experiencing neurological symptoms like numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms or legs, you could have a pinched nerve caused by a damaged disc.

Disc replacement surgery may be necessary to prevent worsening nerve involvement if these symptoms are severe, persistent, or worsen over time.

Because artificial discs mimic the structure and function of natural spinal discs, surgery reduces nerve irritation and helps maintain spinal alignment.

Disc replacement surgery is also minimally invasive, requiring small incisions to access the targeted treatment area. This technique helps reduce risks of surgical and postsurgical complications and speeds recovery time.

You don’t have to live with back or neck pain. Schedule an evaluation at Integrity Spine & Orthopedics today. Call our Jacksonville office or request an appointment online.