One goal of total disc replacement surgery is to relieve the pain caused by pinched nerves or discogenic pain in the lumbar spine by replacing a diseased or damaged disc with specialized metal and polyethylene implants.
Through a small incision in the abdomen, the diseased disc is removed from between the vertebral bodies.
The end surfaces of the vertebral bodies are cleared of all diseased disc cartilage and readied for the metal endplates of the prosthesis. The vertebral bodies are spread apart to relieve the pressure on the pinched nerve root and to accept the prosthesis.
Metal implants of the appropriate size are selected, inserted into the opening, and tapped into position.
The polyethylene sliding core is inserted between the endplates.
End of Procedure
The spine is returned to normal posture, which seats the endplates in the vertebrae bones and holds the sliding core in position. The position of the prosthesis is carefully evaluated visually and with x-rays.