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Disc replacement surgery is like any other joint replacement surgery. The goal is to achieve a stable implant, normal motion and normal soft-tissue balance. Since each spinal segment is connected by both a disc and two facet joints, replacing the disc works best when there is little if any arthritis in the associated facet joints. Many disc replacements are only approved for single level use while many patients have multiple level problems. Insurers will not pay for “off-label” application of disc replacements where they were not studied so using a disc replacement at a level adjacent to a prior spinal fusion although perfectly rational and desirable is disallowed by the insurer as “experimental”. I believe that disc replacement surgery will likely increase in the cervical spine and may, someday, be performed more often than spinal fusion surgeries. The best design has yet to be approved for use and better designs will likely be produced in the future.

Lumbar artificial disc replacement holds promise as well but I am not as convinced that the risks justify the potential benefit. The reason is the risk involved with revision surgery scenarios. The one thing we know about artificial joint replacements is that in time, they wear out and need replacing. Revision scenario’s need to be planned for and anticipated. Revision surgery in the cervical spine is routine with low risk of complications. Revision surgery in the lumbar spine involves significant risk of serious, even life-threatening injury to the great vessels due to scarring. It remains unclear that the benefits of an artificial disc versus a well performed spinal fusion that addresses spinal alignment and balance is worth the risk of contemplating revision anterior disc replacement surgery.

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Texas Spine Consultants Addison 

Dr. Carmody - Texas Spine Consultants

17051 Dallas Parkway
Suite 400
Addison, Texas 75001
214-771-9150 Tel

Dr. Carmody - Texas Spine Consultants
17051 Dallas Pkwy #400, Addison, TX 75001, USA

17051 Dallas Parkway
Suite 400
Addison, Texas 75001
214-771-9150 Tel

Direction

Legacy Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

Dr. Carmody- Legacy Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

6501 Preston Road
Suite 100
Plano, Texas 75024
214-771-9150 Tel

Dr. Carmody- Legacy Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
6501 Preston Rd #100, Plano, TX 75024, USA

6501 Preston Road
Suite 100
Plano, Texas 75024
214-771-9150 Tel

Direction

Addison:
Texas Spine Consultants
17051 Dallas Parkway
Suite 400
Addison, Texas 75001
214-771-9150 Tel

Addison Hours:
Mon. 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Wed. 8:00pm – 5:00pm
Fri.     1:00pm – 5:00pm

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Parking: Use the open parking lot at the back of the building or FREE valet parking is available.

Plano:
Legacy Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
6501 Preston Road
Suite 100
Plano, Texas 75024
214-771-9150 Tel

Plano Hours:
Mon.  8:00am- 12:00pm
Fri.     8:00am- 12:00pm