As the body ages, the discs that serve as shock absorbers between the vertebrae also age and degenerate. This occurrence is natural and usually do not cause pain, discomfort or limited mobility. Some people, however, experience radiating pain, numbness, tingling sensations and loss of function in the limbs. If these symptoms are caused by a worn-out disc as a result of aging, this will be known as degenerative disc disease.
Another condition that causes these symptoms is a herniated disc, in which soft tissue within the disc pushes out and against its exterior. This puts pressure on the nerves, resulting in pain, numbness or weakness.
Degenerative disc disease and slipped disc treatment in Singapore consists of medications, exercises and physiotherapy. For persistent or more serious symptoms, surgical options like disc replacement surgery may be required. During this procedure, the diseased or damaged disc is replaced with an artificial one to restore normal function and reduce pain.
The main reason for degenerative and herniated disc surgery in Singapore is to relieve neck and arm pain from nerve compression that cannot be treated using conservative or non-operative methods. However, not everyone is an ideal candidate for disc replacement surgery. As it is a highly specialized and selective procedure, your surgeon should discuss with you to determine if you are a suitable candidate.
Disc replacement surgery is typically performed for degenerated or prolapsed disc problems in the neck.
Before disc replacement surgery, the patient will be asked to undergo a series of imaging tests. The results of these examinations will be used to get an accurate view of the spine and assess the severity of the damage.
The patient is also advised to avoid smoking and stop taking blood-thinning medicines like aspirin, warfarin or plavix, as these can slow the healing process or affect the surgery. Food and drinks should also be avoided at least several hours before the surgery.
The disc replacement surgery is performed with the patient under general anaesthesia. The procedure is done under full neuromonitoring facilities, and under a microscope for safety. There will be an assistant with the main surgeon, who should also be familiar with the surgery process and microscope usage. The spine is then accessed from an incision on the front of the neck. Important structures are carefully protected to allow surgical access. Once this is done, the surgeon removes the diseased or damaged disc, and replaces it with an appropriately sized artificial one, after ensuring adequate decompression of the neural elements.
The organs and blood vessels will be gently moved back into place, and the incision sutured closed carefully. The patient usually stays overnight in the hospital for observation, and usually can be discharged the next day after review by the surgeon.
Most disc replacement surgeries take 2 to 3 hours.
Atlas Orthopaedic Group is your one-stop provider of lower back pain treatment in Singapore. Our spine specialist Dr Chua Soo Yong is well-trained and experienced in performing both open and minimally invasive procedures on the suboccipital, cervical, thoracic and lumbosacral regions of the spine. In addition, Dr Chua regularly performs disc replacement surgery, nerve decompression and pelvic fixation. To schedule an appointment, contact 6262-0555 today.