Total Disk Replacement

Spine surgery

By Brandie Umar, Executive Director of ContentLast modified: December 21, 2011

Total Disk Replacement

An alternative to spinal fusion, total disk replacement spinal surgery (TDR) is a procedure to repair problems with the disks in between the vertebrae in the spine. Orthopedic surgeons remove the damaged disk from the spine and replace it with a prosthetic disk made from metal.

Why Is TDR Performed?

Total disk replacement in the spine is used to correct curvatures in the spine, to relieve pain in the upper or lower back caused by instability of the spine or to correct damage caused by trauma.

What Is The Procedure For TDR?

Orthopedic surgeons remove the damaged disk from the spine through an incision in the belly-button. The artificial disk is then inserted in between the vertebrae. 

Benefits Of Total Disk Replacement Surgery?

TDR is a relatively new orthopedic procedure yet it is being favored as an alternative to spinal fusion in many cases. Unlike spinal fusion which restricts movement in the back after fusing the vertebrae together, TDR retains movement in the spine. Patients who undergo total disk replacement in the spine should feel a noticeable improvement in the level of back pain and flexibility can be improved. 


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