How You May Be Able To Forever Fix Your Backpain
For those suffering from debilitating back pain, artificial disc replacement can represent a lifeline, allowing them to live comfortably with increased mobility. If you are in this situation, though, it’s important to know as much as possible about artificial disc replacement. What follows is a primer, with most of the essential information you need to have.
So what is artificial disc replacement? The idea isn’t new. Surgeons attempted to put steel balls in the disc space decades ago, and while most of these attempts weren’t successful, they did lead to plenty of followup research.
Scientists and surgeons spent considerable time after that studying the degenerative process of the spinal cord, and they began to formulate new products to implant.
What they’ve come up with is still experimental, and its not approved by the FDA. They do help improve mobility and eliminate or reduce pain, though, so the basic technology has come a long way.
The requirements for these devices are both difficult to meet and stringent. They have to maintain the right amount of vertebral spacing, and they also must restore the original range of motion to the greatest extent possible.
The basic function of the artificial replacement disc is to act as a shock absorber, much like a regular disc, and it has to come in a variety of sizes to deal with the heights of different patients and their specific spacing needs.
Avoiding revision surgery is another issue. The average age of patients who need replacement discs is approximately 35 years old, which means the disc must hold up for about 50 years to avoid the need for this kind of surgery.
The wear and tear on these discs is truly incredible. Estimates show that the average person take about two million steps per year, and also bends over approximately 125,000 times. That translates into over 106 millions step and motion sequences for the disc over the course of six million breaths per year.
Another requirement for these discs relates to their compatibility. They must be safely when they’re transplanted into the human body and not cause allergic reactions. Ideally, they should also be highly visible on X-ray machines and MRIs, as this would allow the surgeons to keep track of how effective they are.
There are several materials that seem to meet these requirements, but more testing needs to be done. In the meantime, prospective patients should consult with their spinal surgeons and other doctors to see if these discs represent a viable solution for the pain and discomfort they’re experiencing.