Lumbar Disc Replacement Surgery
Lumbar disc replacement is similar to other types of joint replacement (such as hip and knee replacements). The concept is similar in that the surgeon is removing a damaged joint, and replacing this with a metal and plastic implant. In the lumbar spine, the goal is to remove the damaged, painful disc, and replace this with a metal and plastic implant. The implant is designed to move like a normal disc.
The theoretical advantage of lumbar disc replacement over spine fusion is that the replaced disc would allow motion at the damaged level and would not transfer stresses to adjacent levels. The goal is to achieve the same pain reduction as spinal fusion, but eliminate some of the complications.