Anterior lumbar arthroplasty is a technique used to replace a damaged lumbar intervertebral disc with a prosthetic one, without altering the mobility of the spine and preserving the normality of the other discs and reducing the section of bone during surgery.
This diseased disc causes constant low back pain, which causes the quality of life of patients to deteriorate.
This translates into less post-operative pain. Moreover, in this type of pathology, the normal curvature of the lumbar spine (which must be lordotic or, what is the same convex), is seriously altered. With this technique we are able to return the correct position of the lumbar area. With anterior lumbar arthroplasty, we not only reverse the damage suffered to the disc, but also the stresses generated in the soft tissue disappear.
The results of this technique are very satisfactory. Of course, in order to perform such advanced surgery, it is essential that the Neurosurgeon who performs it is an EXPERT in general, vascular and spine surgery.
In this case, it is usually the most recommended option for the treatment of disc diseases that cause persistent pain in the lower back. In certain cases, this affected disc can lead to the appearance of a lumbar disc herniation.
The disc is replaced by a prosthesis that mimics the mobility of a normal disc, without overloading the adjacent discs unlike other techniques such as arthrodesis that fixes the spine.
Current prostheses are very sophisticated and closely resemble vertebral discs. They also have a practically infinite duration.
Low back pain can affect us all. Its importance is directly related to its frequency and intensity. Isolated episodes of pain are usually associated with various causes: after unusual physical exertion, for example. If the pain is frequent and the intensity of it increases, the problem may be more serious.
Being overweight, the absence of regulated physical activity and ignorance of postural hygiene are elements that cause risk for mild low back pain to become a serious health problem. Therefore, low back pain can be due to various physical factors: the state of the musculature, the integrity of the vertebrae and, fundamentally, the quality of the intervertebral disc.
The cause of low back pain, as regards the intervertebral disc, derives from dehydration and loss of the nucleus pulposus. When an obvious dehydration of the disc is diagnosed, we come to name the disease as a degenerative disc disease. This pathology can present various degrees of evolution and be the cause of low back pain.
Lumbar Disc Arthroplasty
Advantages of Lumbar Arthroplasty
The main advantage of this surgery is that we remove the cause of the low back pain.
But it should also be noted that unlike the usual fixation techniques, arthroplasty does not limit mobility and for that reason it does not overload the function of the rest of the discs or the adjacent muscles.
This technique makes it possible to recover the condition of mobility and disc resistance lost in the course of degenerative disease, allowing, for example, that patients who had maintained intense physical activity, and were forced to stop, have been able to recover it in an optimal way.
But this is not only applicable to athletes, it extends to all people from office workers to household jobs who see their quality of life substantially increased.
In comparison, arthroplasty is a technique that seeks to align itself with the functionality and naturalness of the human body while arthrodesis is highly invasive.
With spinal arthroplasty you remove the pain compared to arthrodesis that generates pain once operated due to the fixation of the back. In addition, it usually happens in an approximate 30% that the discs above the fixation are usually damaged.
Obviously, the difference between replacing a damaged disc with a prosthesis similar to a natural disc, versus fixing with screws is important, from the recovery from the surgery itself, which is much better, to the quality of recovery and the extent of it. .
In short, with arthroplasty, a total recovery of the patient can be achieved, without pain and limitations.
How to do it
Lumbar arthroplasty surgery from within. Clinical cases
As can be seen in these videos, this technique has very efficient results, allowing patients to regain extremely high mobility.
Our Unit located at Hospital Ruber de Maldonado 38 (Local Quirón Salud), has been performing this type of intervention for more than a decade with magnificent results.
The important thing is that the specialist you go to knows the different techniques and determines their use according to the patient’s needs. This can only be achieved through training and experience.