Lumbar total disc replacement involves replacing a worn or degenerated disc in the lower part of the spine with an artificial replacement.An artificial disc may help the spine to move better, reduce pain and ultimately help to maintain an active lifestyle.
Disc degeneration begins in most people between the ages of sixteen to twenty years. Despite the fact that it is referred to as a “disease”, it is actually a normal part of the ageing process. It may also be caused by injury.
What can I do?
- Physiotherapy prior to surgery can help strengthen the back, speeding up recovery time after surgery.
- Immediately after surgery, start a walking programme. You may need crutches in the first few days but you should aim to be walking without aids as soon as possible.
- Avoid bending backwards for a few weeks after surgery.
- Your physiotherapist will show you stretches and exercises to improve your flexibility, strengthen your back and “core”, and improve your posture and quality of movement
- Most people are able to return to work within six to eight weeks of surgery.
- If you have heavy job demands or other complicating factors, you may benefit from a structured multidisciplinary rehabilitation programme.
- Generally, running should not be resumed until twelve to eighteen months after surgery. This should be discussed with your surgeon first.
Staying fit and strong will help your back and give you enhanced quality of life for years to come.