Artificial Disk Replacement

Artificial Disk Replacement

Since the 1960s, spinal fusion techniques have been used to reduce pain from spinal disorders. Most of the advances since that time have involved speeding up the fusion process. While fusion has been shown to be effective in select cases, it reduces pain while limiting the natural motion your spine was meant to have. In doing so, it can lead to further deterioration of the segments above and below the fusion, leading to more pain and more surgery.

Why you should choose disk replacement:

  • Disk replacement has been shown to provide outstanding success rates for many spinal conditions which equals or exceeds the success of fusion.
  • Patients undergoing disk replacement surgery recover faster and more completely than those who have fusion, allowing them to return to normal activity in a fraction of the time
  • In long term follow up, patients report a more complete recovery with a better sense of motion and more satisfaction than fusion
  • Disk replacement has been proven to reduce the risk of other disks failing in the future, (aka Adjacent Segment Degeneration), which is frequently seen with fusion. Therefore disk replacement has a reduced risk of more pain and need for additional surgery in the future

Indications for Cervical Spinal Disk Replacement (Neck)

  • Disk Replacement is indicated in skeletally mature patients.
  • For reconstruction of the disk from C3 to C7 following discectomy at one or two contiguous levels.
  • For intractable radiculopathy (arm pain and/or a neurological deficit) with or without neck pain, or myelopathy due to abnormality localized to the level of the disk space confirmed by radiographic imaging such as MRI or CT
  • Condition caused by Herniated Nucleus Pulpous (Herniated or Ruptured Disks), Spondylosis and or visible loss of disk height (Degenerative Disc Disease)
  • Patients should have failed at least 6 weeks of conservative treatment or demonstrated progressive signs or symptoms despite non-operative treatment

Determination of which patients are good candidates for disk replacement surgery is one of the most important factors in achieving a successful outcome. Through our extensive experience with this technology as well as our keen understanding of the biomechanics of the spine, we can confidently determine during our initial evaluation which patients are ideal candidates for disk replacement.

There are several costs with total disk replacement (TDR). Fortunately, most insurance programs cover the fees associated with disk replacement. Occasionally, your insurance will cover only some or part of the fees associated with disk replacement.  If your insurance will not cover some or all of these fees, often times we can provide you with a total "out of pocket" cost for the procedure. Our team has years of experience working with insurance plans and patients to ensure you have the best available options for your condition at a reasonable cost. Importantly, disc replacement surgery is often less expensive than similar type fusion operations. Some of the costs associated with disk replacement includes but are not limited to:

  • Cost of consultative appointment with Disk Replacement Specialist
  • Additional Radiographic Testing
    • All patients must have a minimum of MRI within one year of surgery and X-rays including Flexion and Extension views
    • Occasionally nerve testing (EMG/NCV) are needed to rule out other causes of symptoms 
  • Pre-Operative Laboratory Testing 
    • Blood samples for laboratory testing, with chest X-ray or EKG for select patients 
  • Anesthesiologist Profesional Fee
    • This is the physician that will put you under anesthesia for your surgery
  • Surgeon/Co-Surgeon Professional Fee
    • This is/are the physicians that will perform the surgery to implant the artificial disk
  • Facility Fee/Implant Fee
    • In many instances, this is a flat fee that covers the costs of the operating room, your nursing care at the time of surgery, medications needed and the disk implant 
  • Follow up care
    • For all surgical cases, the general post-operative care (clinic visits including examination and review of X-rays) is included as part of the surgical fee for 3 months (90-day global period) after your surgical procedure. 
    • The may be additional costs to treat the rare complications of surgery that are not included in original surgery. 
    • During follow up visits, additional X-rays are frequently recommended, which are not included in the surgical fee; while your surgeon reviews these X-rays during the 90-day global period at no additional cost; the facility performing the X-rays will charge a fee to perform them and if additional radiological interpretation is needed, additional fees will apply.

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