Lumbar Disk Replacement

If you suffer from chronic back pain and the only option for relief is surgery, you need to look into a relatively new procedure called Lumbar Disk Replacement.It is truly amazing.

I suffered debilitating back pain for over ten years. I went to several orthopedic doctors were unable to diagnose me or alleviate my pain. I tried exercising more and pain medications, but nothing worked. At an extremely active thirty-nine years old, something had to change and it sure wasn’t going to be my softball or bowling hobbies.

I finally went to Dr. Steven Mather, a spine surgeon with M&M Orthopedics in Chicagoland. It took only one x-ray for him to identify the problem. I had Degenerative Disk Disease in the L5 area of my spine. Basically, the disk wore away.

The available treatments were: physical therapy, pain medications or surgery. We ruled out physical therapy because my back muscles were already very strong. Long-term use of painkillers to me was not an answer. I was left with surgery.

Dr. Mather then introduced me to a new procedure called Lumbar Disk Replacement. An incision is made along the spine in the back. The worn away disk is removed and replaced with a plastic cage device. The cage is filled with bone scraped from the hipbone. Two rods and four screws are inserted into the spine, to support it during the healing process. The success rate was ninety-percent, meaning only ten percent had some kind of returning pain or discomfort.

The average healing time was over a year, but a full recovery is expected. Although the healing process and physical therapy are agonizing, the positive results far outweighed the negatives. The process included: home rest for eight weeks; wearing a special brace for three months; eight to twelve weeks of physical therapy. The therapy is intense, but if done with dedication could have resounding results. It depends patient’s desire and pain tolerance.

He left me with this unforgettable quote. “This is a profound quality of life decision that only you can make. I will not tell you to have the surgery. I will tell you I recommend it for someone your age who is as active as you are.”

This was right around the start of softball season, so I decided to wait it out, which turned out to be a painful decision. The straw that broke the camel’s back came on a trip to Las Vegas with my wife in September. Twice, the spasms were so intense I fell to my knees. I decided right there that I could no longer live life this way. I called Dr. Mather and scheduled the surgery.

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  1. WOW! What a great testament to your strength & goal setting & reaching! Congrats!

  2. I am reading my favorites first posts. I am beginning with yours here. You gave such hope in this write by sharing your personal statements.

  3. This is an extremely helpful article. I say “extremely” due to my sister’s recent discussion relating to the same lumbar area.
    She gave up her nursing career because of long hours on her feet.She could no longer move patients around etc. I must tell her of this procedure at once. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Glad you are healing!

  5. You poor dude. My Brother needs to read this. Thnanks. j

  6. That was a great article, back pain is so depressing for the suffers and their families.

  7. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. It is the first time I read about Lumbad Disc Replacement

  8. very very informative and helpful,many many thanks for sharing mate :)

  9. I am glad you got over this. Thanks for sharing your experience. I for one did not know about Lumbar Disk Replacement. It was interesting to me.

  10. Congratulations on your recovery! I recently - one month ago - got an XL TDR disc replacement in my L4-L5. You’ve given me hope toward a good recovery. Did you get a lateral disc replacement or an anterior one? And are you almost entirely pain-free?

  11. Olga, Good for you for making the decision to move forward with the surgery. I know how scary it can be. I am glad my article has given you hope. The surgery was performed through my back….not sure if that’s what you were asking. I know some are done through the front. Yes, I am entirely pain free. However, I have to keep my core strong and my muscles all around that area tighten up very easily. So, I have a good massage therapist to take care of that. The surgery was well worth it. These minor twinges and discomforts are pretty much nonexistent compared to the pain I used to be in. Best of luck to you! Work hard!!

  12. Great work well written and most useful points

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