Treatment maintains range of motion and protects neighboring discs
The spinal column is a surprisingly complex structure that can wreak havoc on people’s lives when it’s not functioning the way it should. Take Brandon, for instance. Unaware that he had degenerative disc disease, he one day woke to find that he couldn’t turn his head to the right, making it nearly impossible to sleep or perform daily tasks. Eventually he learned that a bulging disc was putting pressure on neighboring nerves.
The following eight months were a blur of pain, tingling and loss of sensation. After a battery of treatment options failed (including massage, physical therapy, medications and injections), Brandon knew that he needed a more complete solution. Involuntary shaking led to dropping things and numbness had him concerned. Told he would need fusion, Brandon sought another action to avoid the drawbacks associated with that course of treatment. A disc fusion would mean losing mobility in his neck, and it would likely lead to more surgeries in the future, as vertebral fusions accelerate degeneration of neighboring discs. Not to mention the lengthy recovery process and time away from work.
Thankfully, after searching online, Brandon found that he was likely a candidate for minimally invasive surgery. After reading testimonials, Brandon began meeting with surgeons, and found Dr. Abdulhamid at Arizona Brain & Spine Center.
In between vertebra in the spine, discs act as pillows, absorbing shock and allowing for comfortable movement. When discs degenerate with age or injury, neighboring nerves can become impeded, causing everything from intermittent tingling to constant pain. A traditional solution – the fusion surgery – involves inserting a cage as a spacer in between two vertebra. The cage allows the bone to grow together, “fusing” the vertebra and stabilizing the bones.
Alternately, the minimally invasive substitute for fusion is artificial disc replacement, or arthroplasty, which replaces the natural disc with a synthetic version that mimics the natural biomechanics of the body. The replacement allows for a natural range of motion and lets the patient retain their mobility, all with drastically reduced recovery time.
Artificial disc placement can be used to replace herniated discs, correct degenerated discs and even to solve trauma related injuries. The procedure can typically be done in an outpatient setting; patients are able to return to regular activities far more quickly than with a fusion.
After learning about minimally invasive options, Brandon knew that was the right way to go. Het met with a number of surgeons, and ultimately felt most comfortable with Dr. Abdulhamid at Arizona Brain & Spine Center, who spent as much time as needed to explain the diagnosis and surgery to patients. He compared the nerve impingement to a garden hose with a kink – left unresolved too long and the hose, or nerves, might never work the same again.
After having the surgery last fall, the pain was gone immediately. He credits the surgery with giving him his life back and even calls recovery “a breeze.” He’s now recommending Arizona Brain & Spine Surgery and helping others overcome their reservations about surgical intervention.
If you’re wondering whether artificial disc replacement is an option for you, contact Arizona Brain & Spine Center at (602) 266-2272. The surgeons at Arizona Brain & Spine Center are skilled in both artificial disc replacement and fusion, which means they are able to recommend the best method for every patient, without bias.
Arizona Brain & Spine Center – Specialists in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Scottsdale
We offer exceptional care and treatment options for a wide range of spinal and neurological disorders, which affect the brain, spine, nerves, spinal cord and peripheral nerves.