Hip replacements and knee replacements have been around for a long time now, and since the sudden boom of damaged spines and traumatic injuries has skyrocketed, more and more people are considering a disc replacement performed by orthopedic surgeons.
Whether you suffer from a medical condition that has distorted the spine or you faced an injury in that area, people are usually very skeptical about the overall success rates of this operation. If you’re looking for some answers to address your concerns, keep reading.
Understanding Disc Replacement Surgery
The spinal cord is a complex network of several neurological pathways that carry input signals and execute the desired action from the brain accordingly. The spinal cord is a delicate structure that is protected under the bony framework of the spinal bones.
Between each bone is a cartilaginous structure called the spinal disc. These discs provide a cushioning effect to the bones when we walk or run. They also absorb high impact states and prevent friction in between two corresponding bones.
As with every structure in our body, with the natural aging process and continuous wear and tear, our discs can significantly degenerate and create friction in between the bones. They can shrink and lose their buffering ability, causing several symptoms such as pain, loss of function or nerve entrapment.
While it’s nearly impossible to replace and restore the function of the original spinal disc, doctors can provide an alternative by removing the damaged discs and replacing it with a man-made implant. Ultimately, the goal of this implant is to restore the normal functions of the spine to as normal as possible, while alleviating signs of pain.
How Long Will My Artificial Disc Last?
I know many people are curious to know the answer to this question, but hear me out first.
Spinal discs were first introduced in the United States in the early 2000’s, which is why they are still pretty new in the medical world and need more research and evidence to approve of their durability. Some studies conducted on spinal discs at 5 and 10 year intervals have shown promising results and positive feedback from patients. Some researchers have also examined the condition of spinal discs in various patients who have passed away. The examination has shown that these man-made implants are in pristine condition and working at near optimal levels.
Once again, there is no perfect answer to this question as results can vary depending from patient to patient. Many of these disc manufacturers who have tested their products extensively say that these implants can last from anywhere to 40 to 50 years. Some even vouch the durability of their products by ensuring a lifetime guarantee.
Hence it is safe to say that with proper post-operative care, these artificial implants can last you for a lifetime, and they might just be the only artificial disc replacement you will ever need at that level of your spinal cord.
How To Increase The Lifespan Of An Artificial Disc?
If your just underwent an artificial disc replacement surgery, follow these tips to prolong the lifespan of this implant.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Being overweight will channel its effects on your bony spinal framework. It may result in excessive strain on the spinal cord, and eventually the artificial disc. This may cause unwanted wear and tear of the implant much sooner than anticipated.
By indulging in a good workout session, you will not only strengthen the muscular framework of your body, but your body will also be better equipped to handle and distribute stress accordingly.
Maintain A Good Posture
Always try to maintain a good straight posture, whether you’re walking or sitting down for prolonged levels. This helps to alleviate stress from one level of the spine and distributes the weight load evenly.
After the disc replacement surgery, make it a point to never skip your weekly or daily physical therapy sessions. These exercises and stretches help to manage daily stress and strengthen the core of your body.
Smoking can cause accelerated wear and tear in artificial disc implants which is why you should avoid it at all costs.
All in all, a spinal disc replacement surgery by an experienced back pain specialist Woodbridge can restore normal functioning to a 100 %, but it’s how you care for the implant later on that will determine its lifespan.