Spine surgery has a reputation for being the “last stop” for people with back and neck pain caused by spine disorders or trauma. That may have been true once upon a time, but not anymore.
This is especially true when it comes to artificial disc replacement. In fact, patients considering artificial disc replacement (ADR) surgery with Dr. Radcliff will be happy to know that he performs ADR using minimally invasive techniques that preserve natural tissue planes while also preserving motion.
Dr. Radcliff and his staff at the Spinal DISC Center are recognized experts in the field of artificial disc replacement, so you can rest assured that you are in the best of hands.
Artificial disc replacement surgery is typically recommended for patients who have disc herniation, spine injury, or degenerative disc disease causing chronic pain that hasn’t been relieved through non-surgical treatments. It is typically performed to replace a diseased or damaged intervertebral disc of the spine with an artificial joint.
Dr. Radcliff performs ADR as an alternative to fusion surgery because it provides patients numerous benefits, including preserved motion of the spine. During this procedure, Dr. Radcliff makes a small incision through which he removes the injured disc and any associated bone spurs. He then replaces it with an artificial disc that is designed to replicate the natural motion of the spine in order to preserve range of motion in that area.
A common aspect of all artificial discs is that they are designed to retain the natural movement in the spine by duplicating the rotational function of the discs Mother Nature gave us at birth. Most artificial disc designs have plates that attach to the vertebrae and a rotational component that fits between these fixation plates. These components are typically designed to withstand stress and rotational forces over long periods of time. Still, like any manmade material, they can be affected by wear and tear.
Dr. Radcliff is trained on all of the disc replacements in the cervical and lumbar spine, including the M6, Mobi-C. Prodisc-C, Simplify Medical Disc.
ADR surgery has numerous benefits for the patient, including:
The procedure is designed to relieve the pressure on your spinal cord or nerves that are causing pain, numbness, and weakness.
For many patients, artificial disc replacement is an excellent alternative to spinal fusion surgery because the artificial disc allows the spine to have much greater mobility. After surgery, patients not only find their pain is relieved, but they can eventually return to many of the activities they once enjoyed since artificial disc replacement preserves the spine’s ability to bend, flex, and rotate.
In the low back, because of the number of vertebrae, this loss of movement is less of a problem as the remaining vertebrae can provide enough rotational movement. “In the neck, however, there are fewer vertebral bones,” explains Dr. Radcliff. “When two vertebrae are locked together as in the ACDF surgery, not only does the person notice that they have less rotation in the neck after surgery, but other issues also come into play. Because two vertebrae are locked, the other vertebrae above and below have more stress on them, which can, in turn, cause additional disc herniations in the remaining segments.”
Dr. Radcliff is considered an industry expert and thought leader in the field of artificial disc replacement, and has written numerous papers, four of which have won prestigious international awards. Additionally, Dr. Radcliff is also in demand as a speaker on the subject of artificial disc replacement.