Artificial Disk Replacement
Artificial disk replacement is an alternative to
spinal fusion for people whose back or neck pain hasn’t responded to conservative
treatments. The goal of lumbar or cervical disk replacement is to relieve
chronic back or neck pain and restore normal function by replacing an
injured disk with a new, artificial disk.
The artificial disk is made of polyethylene core – the same material
used in artificial hips and knees. It slides between two end plates that
are anchored to the vertebrae. The advantages of artificial disk replacement
over fusion surgery include better preservation of motion and prevention
of arthritis above and below the disk.