Artificial Disc Replacement Orange County & Irvine, CA

Artificial Disc Replacement is a newer spinal disc surgical option for the treatment of painful lumbar (low back) discs, providing relief from lower back pain and restoring full motion with the use of use of a metal or plastic prosthetic disc implant. Utilizing an anterior approach (front- through the abdominal region) to access the spine and replace a painful, arthritic, degenerative, or intervertebral disc of the lumbar spine. Artificial Disc Replacement is only FDA-approved for use in the lumbar region.

Artificial Disc Replacement Procedure

Artificial Disc Replacement is performed utilizing general anesthesia and pre-operative intravenous antibiotics are given. Patients are positioned in the supine (lying on the back) position and a breathing tube (endotracheal tube) is placed to help the patient breathe through a ventilator during the procedure. Depending on the number of spinal disc to be replaced, about 3 to 8 centimeter transverse or oblique incision is made just to the left of the belly button. The abdominal muscles, blood vessels and peritoneal sac (containing the intestines) are gently pushed or moved aside using special retractors. This allows your spine surgeon to visualize the front part of the intervertebral discs, which is then removed using special biting and grasping instruments. Special distractor instruments are used to restore the normal height of the disc and to determine the appropriate size of the artificial disc replacement prosthesis. The artificial disc is then carefully placed in the disc space. Fluoroscopic X-rays are taken to confirm correct positioning of the artificial disc prosthesis. The incision is closed using special surgical glue, resulting in minimal scarring. The deep fascial layer and subcutaneous layers are closed with sutures. The wound area is usually washed with sterile water containing antibiotics to prevent infection. Depending on the number of spinal discs to be replaced, Artificial Disc Replacement procedure usually lasts about 2 to 3 hours.

Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon

Gerald Alexander, MD, your Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon in Orange County, specializes in Artificial Disc Replacement. Dr. Alexander has over 17 years of experience in spine treatment and care. He completed his spine surgery fellowship at the internationally-recognized UCLA Medical Center and was trained by two of the country’s top orthopaedic spine surgeons, Edward Dawson, MD and Rick Delamarter, MD. Dr. Alexander has helped pioneer cutting-edge techniques, such as Artificial Disc Replacement, Outpatient Microsurgery, and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, as alternatives to traditional spine surgery. He has been awarded “Top Doctor” in Orange County by the Orange County Medical Association (OCMA) and Orange Coast Magazine. Using modern surgical techniques and specialized instruments, Dr. Alexander has performed hundreds of minimally invasive outpatient spine surgical procedures that traditionally would have involved lengthy hospitalization.

Are You Suffering from Neck, Back or Spine Pain?

Stop living in pain and get back to living an active life! To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gerald Alexander and to find out the right spine treatment for your condition, please call (714) 937-4859 or Request Appointment here.