Orthopedic surgeons have replaced worn-out hips, knees and other joints in the body for decades. Spinal surgeons now have the technology to replace worn-out discs in the lower back (lumbar spine) and neck (cervical spine).
Although European surgeons have implanted artificial discs in the spine for several years with good results, many of the implant devices are still being tested in the U.S.A. These artificial discs are in various stages of approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Symptoms which might lead one to require disc replacement surgery:
The disc replacement is performed through the front of your spine. After careful removal of most or all of the disc, an artificial disc replacement prosthesis is placed between the vertebral bones. The prosthesis is usually a combination of metal and very hard plastic.
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for disc replacement. Conditions such as osteoporosis and severe arthritis could potentially produce poor results.