For some people, no amount of chiropractic care, massage therapy, traction, or acupuncture is enough to relieve chronic neck pain. When conservative therapies and treatments don’t have their desired effect, it’s common for patients to turn towards surgery for pain relief and to regain lost mobility. Fortunately, there is an excellent alternative, known as disc replacement surgery, which is less invasive, and more effective, than some of the surgeries of the past. Here are three of the more common questions that people have about disc replacement.
What does the average disc replacement surgery cost?
At one point in time, disc replacement surgery was considered experimental — few insurance companies would reimburse the costs. Now, since it has been a very effective course of treatment, it is more likely that insurance will cover at least some of the costs. It’s important to note that disc replacement surgery costs vary greatly by geographic region. However, here in the United States, the disc replacement surgery costs range from $12,000 to $65,000 depending on the type of the artificial disc device, whether the surgery is inpatient or outpatient, and associated surgical fees.
What exactly are the advantages to total disc replacement surgery?
The primary advantages to disc replacement surgery are apparent when you compare the procedure to spinal fusion. Greater range of motion, faster recovery time, and less need for further surgery is achieved when disc replacement is chosen over spinal fusion. Another advantage is the disc replacement surgery recovery time, which can be measured in days as opposed to months. The surgery process uses a small incision, and does either minimal or no damage to surrounding muscles, tissues, and bone.
Who is a good candidate for disc replacement?
Individuals who suffer from neck pain that may or may not radiate to their arms, and who haven’t found relief through conservative therapies, are good candidates for this surgery if they are healthy and free of infections. Maintaining a healthy weight and diet prior to surgery is also important, so that anesthesia and surgery have minimal risk of complication and recovery can be quick.
Back pain causes approximately 65 million Americans to suffer each year. Anyone considering disc replacement surgery should have a good understanding of what disc replacement surgery costs, its advantages, and whether or not they may be a good candidate. After learning as much as one can about the surgery, the next step is to contact an experienced center to discuss whether disc replacement might be the solution that you are looking for.