Beejal Y. Amin MD

3 Signs It's Time to Consider Disc Replacement Surgery

Jul 01, 2023

3 Signs It's Time to Consider Disc Replacement Surgery

Disc replacement surgery helps when spinal discs become damaged, causing neck, back, or arm pain. When do you need disc replacement surgery? Read to learn about telltale signs to look for.

Spinal bones called vertebrae alternate with spacing, cushioning spinal discs inside your spine. You rely on your spinal discs daily but might not know much about this body part.

Expert neurosurgeon Dr. Beejal Y. Amin provides disc replacement surgery from his offices in Oak Lawn, South Holland, and Orland Park, Illinois. In this procedure, he surgically removes a damaged or herniated disc from your body, replacing it with an artificial disc replacement that functions like the real one.

Could you benefit from disc replacement? After your procedure, your chronic pain problems could be over. Here are some signs that it’s time you talked to Dr. Amin about your options for surgical disc replacement.

1. You are experiencing chronic neck or arm pain

Chronic pain can result when there is no cushioning to your spine. In addition to vertebrae and discs, your spine is home to many major nerves. If your nerves become compressed, inflamed, or irritated, pain signals travel from the affected nerve to your brain, disrupting your daily life.

Depending on the area of your spine that is in less-than-ideal condition, you could experience ongoing chronic pain in your neck, back, or even in your arms. If your pain doesn’t improve with rest and gentle stretching, it might be time to look into potential underlying spinal causes.

Dr. Amin uses physical examinations and diagnostic testing to determine if there are implications of spinal issues in your chronic pain. He can also use nerve blocks to learn more about the exact area of your spine causing your pain problems.

2. You have a herniated spinal disc

Damage or degeneration in your spinal discs can result in health problems. Chronic neck, back, or arm pain may relate to a herniated spinal disc.

Spinal discs contain a soft center surrounded by a hard shell. When a disc becomes herniated, the inner material breaks through the outer shell, protruding out of alignment. A herniated disc can put pressure on nerves, resulting in pain symptoms.

Disc herniation is increasingly common as you get older. Lifting heavy objects with improper posture can cause a disc to herniate, or the issue can result from disc degeneration.

3. Your herniated disc is not responding to conservative treatment

Dr. Amin typically starts your treatment with conservative options like rest, physical therapy, or spinal injections if you’ve determined that a herniated spinal disc is the source of your pain.

But, if your symptoms and condition don’t improve with these interventions, it may be time to consider disc replacement surgery. Several surgical procedures can help with spinal disc issues, including:

Discectomy and fusion

In this procedure, Dr. Amin removes damaged spinal discs and implants a bone graft and plate, fastened into place with screws to encourage new bone growth and eventual vertebral fusion.

Artificial disc replacement

This procedure doesn’t involve spinal fusion, which leaves you with spinal flexibility. Dr. Amin creates an incision, removes damaged discs and disc material, and replaces the disc with an artificial disc that works naturally.

When you need surgery, Dr. Amin uses the most minimally invasive techniques to replace damaged spinal discs and restore your spine. After spinal surgery, your chronic pain should significantly improve.

To learn more about disc replacement surgery, contact Dr. Amin online or over the phone today and schedule your initial consultation now.