What is Disc Replacement Surgery? | Dr. Rajesh Kumar Verma

What is Disc Replacement Surgery? | Dr. Rajesh Kumar Verma


Hello, friends. I am Dr. Rajesh Verma, from Narayana Hospital, Gurugram. Today we will be talking about Disc Replacement Surgery. What is this surgery? Why is it necessary and what are its benefits? Before talking about disc replacement, we should understand the working of the disc. We should also know what a disc is and the problems that may arise due to its damage. Here, you can see a unit of the spine which is made up of two bones. The white structure are the bones, the orange band in the center is the disc. The yellow coloured nerves arises from the brain and it is the spinal cord. At each level there’s a nerve bending towards left and another towards right. Under normal situations, these nerves join to form veins, like the veins of the hand which helps us move and feel. Sometimes, due to bad postures or lack of exercise, or due to obesity, or in diabetic patients or people who are habitual smokers, a piece of this disc breaks and protrudes out, as you can see here. A small piece of say 1cm has been broken. This broken piece touches the nerve roots of the hands, creates pressure and irritates its’ movement. This condition is known as ‘Disc Prolapse.’ If this condition occurs in the lumbar spine, we commonly call it a ‘slip disc’ or ‘Sciatica’. The same problem may occur in the cervical spine also. In this situation the pain from the neck gradually affects the hands also. In adverse situations, hands become numb or the hand loses grip. Similarly, it may affect the leg also. How can we rectify it? The latest technique used is the ‘Disc Replacement Surgery’. Although disc replacement has been going on for years, but the quality of disc has been improving day by day. This is the model of the cervical spine vertebrae. Here, the damaged disc has been removed and replaced by an artificial disc. The size of the artificial disc can be compared to a 25 paise coin which is made of three components. There are two black steel plates which are actually titanium plates. In between the plates, there’s a mobile silicon spacer. The advantage of this disc replacement is it’s agility of movement towards the front, back, rotation towards right and left and side bending. About 99% movements can be mimicked, like what it was before the surgery. You can move forward, backward or sideways also. The good thing about this is the application technique. A small cut of about 1 to 1.5 centimetre or a maximum of about 18 millimetre is made. This small cut is made in the crease which is barely visible later on. And the whole surgery of disc replacement is done through this cut. The movement activities are immediately taken care of and in two days the patient is discharged. The success rate of disc replacement surgery is 99%. The patient gets fully recovered from the pain and numbness of the hand. The movement of the disc is normalized as it was before. After the introduction of disc replacement surgery especially in cases of cervical spines, the role of cervical fusion surgery has been minimized. This is a model of a lumbar spine fusion where screws have been used as fixations. The advantage here is, total decompression and release of nerves. But the biggest difficulty and challenge is that of getting the spine fixed. The movement decreases significantly and is restricted to a great extant. There are many disadvantages of spinal fusion and these can be overcome by disc replacement as done in cervical spines. Today we have discussed about ‘Disc Replacement.’ Thank you so much for a patient hearing.

2 thoughts on “What is Disc Replacement Surgery? | Dr. Rajesh Kumar Verma

  1. Sar ji me bohat takleef me hu Mari l5 S1 ki preshani h jiski waja se me jyada chal nahi pata or per sun rheta h kiya iska ilaz ho jayega

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