Lumbar Disc Replacement Surgery – An Advanced Technique

A newer technique is disc replacement. The procedure involves removing the disc and replacing it with artificial components, similar to what is done in the hip or the knee. This lets the segment of the spine keep some flexibility and hopefully maintain more normal motion. Recovery time may be shorter than with spine fusion because the bone does not have to solidify. Although disc replacement has been used in Europe for a number of years, it has only recently been used in the United States. Early results are promising.

Currently disc replacements are done through an anterior approach, and are primarily done on the lower two discs of the lumbar spine.

Artificial disc replacement surgery requires a well-trained spinal surgeon, and during the overall process:

  • Anesthesiologists will put the patient under with general anesthesia so that the patient does not feel any sensation.
  • Nurses prepare the surgical site and monitor the heart rate and respiration of the patient’s body
  • The Surgeon will approach the lower back from the front through an incision in the abdomen. This allows the surgeon to operate on the patient’s spine without needing to approach the sensitive nerves.
  • The Surgeon will move the organs and blood vessels out of the way to allow access to the spine.
  • Surgeons will remove the problematic vertebral disc and replace it with the artificial medical disc.
  • Finally, the Surgeon will replace the organs and blood vessels and close the incision to start the healing process.


Who We Are

The Texas Comprehensive Spine Center offers a comprehensive approach to back and neck pain. With our team of orthopedic surgeons, rehabilitation specialists, exercise therapists and pain experts, we offer an all-inclusive, one-stop treatment facility.

Our Spine Surgeons

Dr. Eric Wieser is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, and his practice is focused on the treatment of spinal disorders. He is fellowship-trained in modern, minimally invasive techniques in spinal surgery, as well as complex reconstructive spinal surgery.

Dr. Ryan Murphy is a orthopedic surgeon and fellowship trained spine specialist. His practice areas include surgical and non-surgical treatments, sciatica and pinched nerves, single position surgical techniques, and minimally invasive spinal surgery. He was fellowship-trained in spine surgery under the direction of both Orthopedic Spine and Neurosurgery Spine surgeons at the University of Southern California.

Commitment to Excellence

Our team approach to health care ranges from treating simple back or neck strains to the most complex spine surgery. No matter what the spine care need is, our team of healthcare professionals puts emphasis on patient education. That means spending time with each patient so that they understand diagnostic testing, surgical and non-surgical treatment options available to them, and rehabilitation needed in order for them to reach the best possible outcome.