Artificial Disc Replacement

Artificial Disc Replacement

Artificial Disc Replacement

Artificial Disc Replacement involves replacing a painful disc that is causing chronic back pain with an artificial disc that provides pain relief without compromising the spine’s natural anatomical structure. Artificial disc replacement surgery may be performed on the lower back (lumbar spine) or the neck (cervical spine). Artificial discs are structurally similar to the damaged discs that are replaced and share similar functions, including acting as shock absorbers in the back or neck.

Artificial discs are usually made of metal or plastic-like (biopolymer) materials or a combination of the two. These materials have been used in the body for many years. Total disc replacements have been used in Europe since the late 1980s. The most commonly used total disc replacement designs have two plates. One attaches to the vertebrae above the disc being replaced and the other to the vertebrae below. Some devices have a soft, compressible plastic-like piece between these plates. The devices allow motion by smooth, usually curved, surfaces sliding across each other.

Artificial Disc Replacement versus Spinal Fusion

After various other non-surgical treatments, if you are still experiencing lower back pain, a Houston back specialist may recommend either artificial disc replacement or a spinal fusion procedure. However, which one is best for you? Your physician will provide this information based on your specific needs, but it’s certainly beneficial to learn more about these minimally invasive back surgery procedures and their differences.

Spinal fusion involves a fortification around a degenerated disc which keeps it from moving and causing pain. This bond is made by creating a connection with the vertebrae surrounding the problematic disc with intervertebral cages, pedicle screws, or bone connections. Bone grafts can either be artificial or harvested directly from the patient.

Artificial disc replacement completely removes the eroded or painful disc and replaces it with a prosthetic implant, typically made of plastic or metal, that perfectly fills in the missing gap. This procedure is highly effective but it’s not a solution for everyone because it only treats a few types of disc pathology. In some cases, an artificial disc replacement and a spinal fusion can be used together to create a more effective solution.

Candidates for Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery

As mentioned before, artificial disc replacement surgery isn’t for everyone. At UGH Pain and Spine, we develop a roadmap to recovery based on your specific needs. But to ensure you are well-informed, here are a few things required before an artificial disc replacement is considered.

  • You suffer from chronic lower back pain which takes a toll on your everyday life.
  • You are between the ages of 18 and 60.
  • You’ve tried other non-surgical options, such as physical therapy, for at least 6 months.
  • You have been recommended surgical options by a board-certified spine physician.

If you’d like to learn more about artificial disc replacement or other minimally invasive back surgery options, we highly recommend reaching out to a skilled spine doctor at UGH Pain and Spine. We make genuine efforts to offer long-lasting solutions and conservative pain management based on your unique needs.

Available Locations

UMMC Sugarland

1211 Hwy 6,

Sugarland, TX 77478



Special Services

Emergency Room

At SESH we provide the best possible care without the wait, and just minutes away from your home.


Our state-of-the-art technology provides high quality imaging in a comfortable diagnostic testing facility.

General Surgery

Our Surgical team provides the latest in minimally invasive surgery performed by highly-skilled, fellowship trained,


Our on-site, fully equipped laboratory allows for easy access, fast and accurate results with no waiting time and best

Plastic Surgery

Our plastic surgeons have helped countless clients regain their confidence and self-esteem.


Our specialists perform non-invasive or minimally-invasive treatments for heel pain


Our physicians specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and management of all digestive

Pain Management

Our specialists are board certified in both Pain Management and Anesthesiology.

Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)

We specialize in the medical and surgical treatment of pediatric and adult ear, nose, and throat disorders.

Spine Surgery

Our highly skilled orthopedic spine surgeons provide variety of open surgery solutions

Our Facilities

Clinical Quality

We are committed to outstanding patient care and clinical outcomes.

Continuous Improvement

We seek to relentlessly improve our performance in every area – clinical, operational and financial – constantly pushing ourselves to new heights.


We work together, helping and supporting one another to make our hospital successful.

Service Excellence

We seek to exceed the expectations of patients, physicians and each other in everything we do.