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Prosthetic Intervertebral Disc Replacement

Why might a Prosthetic Intervertebral Disc Replacement be needed?

You may be recommended to for an artificial disc replacement if you have severe back pain that has not responded to other treatment methods such as physiotherapy. This procedure consists of the surgeon removing and/or replacing damaged disk material. The material is then replaced with an artificial disk.

lower back pain

What are the risks with a Prosthetic Intervertebral Disc Replacement?

Lumbar disk replacement poses the same potential risks as most surgeries. It is however a riskier procedure than most due to disk replacement warranting greater access to the spine than standard lumber fusion surgery. Some of the potential risks of this surgery include:

  • Narrowing or stiffness of the spine
  • Infection of the affected area
  • Dislocation of the disk
  • Wear and tear of implant
  • Fracture or broken implant

How to prepare for a Prosthetic Intervertebral Disc Replacement

In the weeks leading up to the procedure, you may need to undergo a CT, MR, X-ray or discography so that your surgeon has the information they need regarding the source of your back pain. Before the procedure we will make sure you feel as comfortable as possible. We will talk you through what will happen in your surgery, along with the risks and benefits. Your doctor will tell you which medicines you should either stop taking, or take, in the days leading up to the surgery.

You will also be instructed regarding eating or drinking prior to the surgery. You will have time to ask as many questions as you like to your surgeon on the day. We will give you access to our OneWelbeck app so that you are familiar with our site and your doctor before even arriving.

What will happen during my surgery?

This procedure will typically last for 2-3 hours. You will be put under anaesthetic, and the surgeon will gain access to your spine through your lower abdomen so that your spine can be moved without disturbing the nerves. The surgeon will then remove the spinal disc that is causing issues and then replace it with the artificial disk.

What happens after a Prosthetic Intervertebral Disc Replacement?

Typically patients are encouraged to stand and walk the day after surgery. Early movement is encouraged in the trunk area as it may lead to quicker recovery.

Our team will provide you with apt instructions for physio to ensure maximum impact of recovery time. The physiotherapy will encourage a more flexible spine, and help you have a quicker recovery. As you recover further, you will be encouraged to stretch and walk further. Due to the incapacitating nature of the surgery.

Your doctor will provide you with an assessment on how long full recovery will take. We will set you up with our OneWelbeck app that will provide you post-surgery tips and personalised videos from your doctor. This will ensure we stay with you after your procedure is over.

Do you want to enquire or book an appointment?

Information For GPs

If you are a GP and would like to refer a patient, ask a question or enquire about our education events, please visit our dedicated GP page, by clicking here.