Spinal fusion and artificial disc replacement are both surgical options for back and neck pain and loss of spine mobility that does not respond to non-surgical treatments. While artificial disc replacement is the more advanced treatment that has some advantages over spinal fusion, not everyone may be a candidate for the surgery. Let’s consider which might be the better treatment option for you.
Spinal fusion prevents movement between the vertebrae by joining them together into a single, solid unit. It can help prevent pain and discomfort in the back caused by stretched or pinched nerves, ligaments, tendons, or muscles. It might be a good option when excessive spine mobility is the cause of your back pain. Bone grafts are used when performing a spinal fusion to provide immediate structural support for the spine as the vertebrae heal.
Disc replacement surgery involves the removal of a damaged spinal disc and the implantation of a prosthetic disc. The disc is made of medical-grade plastic and special metal alloy; and designed to simulate spine movement.
Artificial disc replacement over fusion helps maintain spine mobility and recovery from surgery is faster compared to spine fusion. You may be a candidate for this procedure if one or two degenerate discs are identified as the source of your back or neck pain, you have no history of previous spine surgery, and there is no significant bony compression or spinal deformity.
If your back condition is caused by an abnormality in spinal structures other than your vertebral disc and you have moderate-to-severe degenerative joint disease, spine fusion surgery may be the right option for you.
Book an appointment with us for an in-depth evaluation and personalized treatment recommendation.
Dr Payam Moazzaz specializes in advanced minimally invasive spine surgery that enables faster recovery and return to active lifestyles. For all appointments and inquiries, please call (760) 904 5444.