What Is Total Disc Arthroplasty?

Total disc arthroplasty (TDA) — also known as a total disc replacement — is a minimally invasive spinal surgery used to treat damaged and degenerated spinal discs. During the procedure, the degenerated disc is removed and replaced with an artificial disc. Age, genetics, traumatic accidents and normal wear and tear can all lead to disc degeneration that requires surgical repair. 

Degenerated discs in the neck (cervical spine) and low back (lumbar spine) cause significant pain, inflammation, nerve compression, numbness, weakness and loss of mobility. Replacement with an artificial disc preserves the natural structure and height in the spine and restores fluid movement and flexibility. After TDA in the cervical spine, you’ll be able to turn your head and bend your neck forward, backward and side to side without limitations or pain. After TDA in the lumbar spine, you’ll be able to turn and bend forward, backward and side to side without limitations or pain.    

What to Expect During the Procedure

At Integrity Spine and Orthopedics, we perform TDA as an outpatient procedure so that you can return home the same day. For disc replacement in the cervical region, your surgeon will make a small incision in the front of the neck to access the spine. For disc replacement in the lumbar region, your surgeon will make a small incision in the low back to access the spine.

Your surgeon will remove the damaged disc and place an artificial disc in the space between the 2 vertebrae. The disc implant contains 3 parts: upper and lower metallic plates and a plastic core that sits between them. The metallic plates have teeth that attach to the adjacent vertebrae and hold them securely in place. Over time, new bone will grow and attach to the plates, securing them even further. Once the disc is in place, your surgeon will close the incision. The entire process usually takes 1-2 hours.  

Recovery

TDA is a minimally invasive procedure, which means it has fewer risks than open surgery and requires less downtime and recovery time. You’ll be able to return home the same day as surgery and our staff will give you specific instructions to help aid your recovery. You’ll experience some pain and weakness following the procedure, but many patients are able to return to normal activities within a few weeks of surgery. Your artificial implant recreates all the functions of a normal, healthy disc and allows for fluid, flexible movement in the spine.  

The primary benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Fewer complications and bloss loss during surgery
  • Less damage to surrounding muscle and soft tissues
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Less post-op pain and less reliance on strong pain medications during recovery
  • Faster recovery and rehabilitation
  • Better cosmetic results with minimal scarring  

We encourage you to learn more about minimally invasive surgery and the benefits here:

5 Advantages of Minimally Invasive Procedures  

Contact Integrity Spine and Orthopedics to Find Relief From Back or Neck Pain

At Integrity Spine and Orthopedics, we specialize in identifying, diagnosing and treating a wide range of acute and chronic back, spine and joint conditions. If you’re experiencing back or joint pain, weakness, or a loss of mobility, reach out to us today to schedule a consultation with our team. We provide compassionate and comprehensive care to help you find relief from pain and get back to doing the activities you love. 

Call us at 904-456-0017 or contact us online to request an appointment.

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