Disc Replacement Surgery: aka Bionic Spinal Fusion, Spinal Fusion Surgery, Spinal Fusion Surgery
What is it?
Spinal fusion surgery or bionic spinal fusion surgery is a procedure that assists people that have spinal disc problems associated with normal wear and tear and disc degeneration. The spinal cord consists of stacked vertebrae or bones attached to the primary spinal column. Under this are nerves in the spinal cord and soft vertebral discs. Strains and aging can cause the discs in the spinal cord to slowly degenerate with time. This means they are less able to absorb shock and more likely to become inflexible.
Many people experience symptoms as this process occurs, most notably chronic pain and stiffness. Some people also notice tingling and numbness that spreads in to the back, leg and buttocks. Often patients take anti-inflammatory medications but sometimes these are not enough to relieve pain. If the severity of pain increases with time physical therapy and other modalities may help, but spinal fusion therapy may help a patient more in the long-term. Spinal fusion therapy helps stabilize the spine and can help reduce back pain. Recently a new type of spinal fusion surgery called the bionic spinal fusion procedure or bionic spine disc has been used to treat disc problems.
Alternatives to Surgery
If a patient would rather not undergo surgery, they can opt for more specific needs including massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, physical therapy and similar manual therapy programs. These programs when combined with strength therapy may help patients regain some of their strain and flexibility. It often helps to work with a physical therapist or a trainer so that you do not overstrain yourself. A fitness trainer can help evaluate your goals and overall health before you embark on a strength training and pain reducing problem.
Before the Operation
Before the operation with a bionic spinal disc the doctor will discuss the traditional spinal fusion procedure and the new bionic spinal disc procedure created by Orthonics, Inc. This new spinal disc is a disc created from a hydrogel product that is flexible and natural much like a traditional human disc.
The disc is coated with a unique texture that will allow it to grow into the replacement disc so that it can theoretically become part of the replacement disc without having to be screwed into place and without having to use bone grafts to hold it into place.
After the Operation- In the Hospital
It is during the recovery phase after surgery and in the hospital that the patient will be waking up from anesthesia. Each medical facility has specific requirements that must be met by the patient before they leave and another person will need to accompany the patient to the hospital to drive them home following surgery. The patient will also leave the hospital with specific instructions of the steps that they need to take to recover at home.
After the Operation- At Home
During the recovery phase at home, it is important to adhere to all of the instructions provided by the surgeon as well as to attend any of the follow up visits for a full recovery.
Any type of surgery involving the spine comes with complications. The risk of infection is inherent in any type of surgery. The patient may experience delayed healing times. For some patients spinal fusion does not completely eliminate pain. Some patients report more aching following surgery. Others report a greater incidence of herniated discs, although with skilled surgery this risk is greatly reduced.
It is important you meet with a qualified physician to help reduce your risk of complications to the best possible extend possible. Your physician will work with you one-to-one to identify and rule out any potential hazards associated with your procedure, and alert you to any special precautions you may have to follow before surgery.
Ideally use of a bionic disc molded after a real human disc that was flexible and durable would provide consumers with the greatest flexibility and movement following spinal surgery. While the spinal fusion surgery remains the more popular of the two surgeries and many people still await the long-term results of bionic spinal surgery, still others are eager to take advantage of new technology.
Be sure to talk with a surgeon skilled in the use of new technology if you have an interest in bionic spinal surgery as newer technologies are not always available in all hospital environments. Not all patients will qualify for treatment with newer technologies. In fact for some patients their only option may be spinal fusion surgery using traditional techniques.
Still, with new technology booming every day, it is likely that even new options will arise as time continues, and bionic spinal surgery may be just the beginning for people that have vertebra problems requiring complex surgical interventions.
Estimated Costs for Disc Replacement Surgery
Spinal surgery is not cheap. Depending on the severity of your condition you may have to pay a few thousand dollars to several thousand dollars to restore the flexibility in your spine and reduce the amount of pain you experience in your spine. Many people are turning to medical clinics abroad to receive complex medical care including spinal surgeries so they can afford the types of surgeries they need to restore good spinal health.
Below are some traditional estimates of the costs associated with traditional spinal surgeries including spinal fusion surgeries. The bionic spinal surgery is still not widely available so costs estimates are not entirely exact. If you find a provider offering this surgery be sure to check and then double check their credentials, and ask to meet with patients that have had this surgery conducted through the center you investigate. This will provide you with the best possible impression of how well this surgery works and what this spinal surgery is likely to do for you.