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Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Artificial Disc Replacement in Lumbar Spine


 bxm0c93 - Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:11 am

I am supposed to have back surgery in early Sept but am not sure I want to go through with it. My doc wants to replace 3 lumbar disc ( L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1) with Prodisc artificial ones due to them being totally blown. However the FDA has only approved the use of one artificial disc replacement and I really don't want to be a guinnie pig for study. Just wondering the views of another doc on the use of 3. This is a workers comp case and I can refuse if I don't want to go through with it. I am a 33 yr old male and have not been able to work now for 3 years but can get around the house ok, can only walk to mailbox before pain is too much. I am thinking my options may be better off in a few years with more study of the back. Any advice would be of help..Thank You.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:59 pm

User avatar Hello,
There are some questions to explore.
First, why did the FDA only approve of one disc replacement. Have there been any studies done on multiple disc replacements vs single disc replacement.
Has your physician done the procedure on single or multiple disc replacements.
The problem with one disc replacement in a multi level severe degenerative disc disease is that the symptoms will not likely decrease until all segments are fixed.
The other question is why not do a lumbar fusion?
Is there a need to do replacement rather than fusion.
In any case, the goal is to relieve pressure on nerve roots which cause neurological symptoms down into the legs. Localized back pain is not guaranteed with lumbar spine or disc surgery but mainly is geared toward relieving neuropathic symptoms.
The procedure which can do this the best in the least amount of operating time is the one to choose.
Take care.

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