Lumbar Artificial Disk Replacement (ADR)
What is Lumbar Artificial Disk Replacement?
A diseased disc can be replaced with an artificial disc rather than a fusion procedure. A specialized surgical approach through the front or abdomen is performed to expose the anterior spine. A vascular surgeon makes a small incision like a hernia incision (3 cm.) or longer in the mid- line just below the umbilicus. Gentle dissection and retraction of the blood vessels in front of the spine allows expose of the diseased disc. The disc is excised and completely removed.
A spine surgeon specifically trained in total disc replacement prepares the disc space to deliver the implant. A perfectly sized disc implant is chosen and placed into the disc space. This replaces the total disc with a mobile device that articulates like a total hip or knee replacement. Typically, the lower lumbar discs (L2-3,L3-4,L4-5, and L5-S1) are amenable to total disc replacement.
Patients can walk immediately following surgery. If performed in an outpatient setting, the patient is released a few hours after the procedure. One- or two-night stay in hospital may be required if more than one level is performed. Two weeks of limited activity wearing a lumbar brace for comfort is recommended. Return to normal activity and exercise is anticipated by six weeks.