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Paul M. Huddleston, III, M.D.close window
Paul M. Huddleston, III, M.D.
- Tarlov cysts: A cause of low back pain?
Treatments and drugs (3)
- Epidural steroid injections: Why limited dosing?
- Myofascial release therapy: Can it relieve back pain?
- Disk replacement: An effective treatment for low back pain?
Lifestyle and home remedies (1)
- Back pain relief: Ergonomic chair or fitness ball?
Alternative medicine (3)
- Acupuncture for back pain?
- Inversion therapy: Can it relieve back pain?
- Prolotherapy: Solution to low back pain?
Disk replacement: An effective treatment for low back pain?
Is disk replacement surgery an effective treatment for low back pain?
from Paul M. Huddleston, III, M.D.
Very few people who have low back pain require surgery of any kind to obtain relief from their discomfort. But if conservative treatments haven't resolved your pain within six months and your doctor has determined that your disk joint is the source of your chronic pain, you might be a candidate for disk replacement surgery.
Spinal fusion — the most common type of back surgery for painful joints — involves fusing two or more vertebrae together. Disk replacement surgery is a newer procedure that replaces the problem disk joint with an artificial one made of metal and plastic.
In general, it appears that spinal fusion and disk replacement procedures are equally effective. But in some cases, intensive rehabilitation programs appear to work just as well as either type of surgery — at a lower cost and with fewer complications.Next question
Back pain relief: Ergonomic chair or fitness ball?
- Chou R. Subacute and chronic low back pain: Surgical treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 21, 2010.
- Kishen TJ, et al. Fusion versus disk replacement for degenerative conditions of the lumbar and cervical spine: Quid est testimonium? Orthopedic Clinics of North America. 2010;41:167.
- Huddleston PM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 8, 2010.
- Artificial disk replacement in the lumbar spine. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00502. Accessed Oct. 21, 2010.
- Wildstein MD, et al. Low back pain: Surgical interventions. In: Firestein GS, et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: W.B. Saunders; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/223480227-12/1071980280/1807/286.html#4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3285-4..10041-5--s0110_1195. Accessed Oct. 21, 2010.