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Disc Replacement Arthroplasty Specialist

Kenneth I. Light, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon & Spine Specialist located in San Leandro, CA

Disc replacement arthroplasty is a cutting-edge surgery to eliminate pain that a damaged intervertebral disc causes. Dr. Kenneth I. Light, MD, a leading orthopedic spine specialist practicing in San Leandro, California, is ready to help with this innovative cure. Book your consultation by calling the office nearest you or clicking the online booking tool.

Disc Replacement Arthroplasty Q & A

What is disc replacement arthroplasty?

Disc replacement arthroplasty is a surgical procedure to replace a damaged spinal disc, such as a herniated disc, with an artificial disc. In this surgery, Dr. Light accesses your damaged spinal disc by separating the two vertebrae on either side of it. 

He securely places new joint surfaces (end plates) on these vertebrae, directly above and below the disc. The new joint surfaces are durable metal or plastic, so this step is similar to a joint replacement. 

Dr. Light removes all of your damaged disc tissue and then places a new artificial disc in its place, between the new end plates. A disc replacement arthroplasty allows for normal spinal flexion, just like a healthy natural disc would. 

This procedure can completely stop low back or neck pain and other symptoms associated with severe disc damage. 

How are disc replacement arthroplasty and spinal fusion different? 

In spinal fusion surgery, Dr. Light removes your spinal disc and then permanently connects the two vertebrae on either side of it. Unlike disc replacement arthroplasty, spinal fusion surgery prevents movement in that segment of your spine.

Both disc replacement arthroplasty and spinal fusion surgery can treat damaged discs. Of the two, disc replacement arthroplasty is less invasive and is thus the preferred option, where possible.

Spinal fusion surgery can also correct spinal deformities such as scoliosis and spinal instability (spondylolisthesis), but disc replacement arthroplasty is best suited for localized disc damage.

Am I a good candidate for disc replacement arthroplasty?

Dr. Light performs a full exam, reviews past imaging tests, and does the necessary X-rays, MRIs, and other imaging to determine whether you’re a good candidate for disc replacement. General qualifying factors include:

  • Chronic back or neck pain
  • A disease only in the disc
  • Healthy weight
  • No prior major back surgeries
  • No spinal deformities

If you’ve had failed low back surgery in the past, or you don’t qualify for disc replacement arthroplasty for any other reason, Dr. Light can still help. He explains all the treatment options best suited for your individual case so you don’t have to live with back pain any longer. 

What are the advantages of disc replacement arthroplasty?

Disc replacement arthroplasty offers a number of advantages, including:

  • A cure for damaged disc pain
  • Short hospital stay (usually one night)
  • Less pain than other low back surgeries
  • Half the price of spinal fusions
  • Faster recovery than with other low back surgeries

There’s no doubt that disc replacement offers many benefits — including a lasting cure for damaged disc pain. 

Learn more about disc replacement arthroplasty by calling Dr. Kenneth I. Light or clicking the online scheduler.