Comparing Artificial Disc Replacement to Spinal Fusion
Spinal fusion has long been a standard surgical technique used for treating disc disease in the neck and back. For patients who have arthritis in the facet joints of the spine, instability related to spondylolisthesis, and certain other spinal conditions, it remains the recommended course of treatment. In this procedure, the damaged disc is removed.
Bone is grafted in its place between the adjacent vertebrae. Over time, the bone graft encourages the two vertebrae to grow together, “welding” them together into one solid bone. This prevents normal movement in that area of the spine, and many people experience an improvement in pain and other unpleasant symptoms immediately after a fusion.