Innovative Spine Procedures

Are you or a loved one suffering from degenerative disc disease and thinking of surgery? Tallahassee Memorial offers innovative procedures that can help patients maintain their mobility and experience less discomfort.

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is a term used to describe normal changes in the spinal discs as people age. Spinal discs are soft, compressible discs that separate the interlocking bones (vertebrae) that make up the spine. The discs act as shock absorbers for the spine, allowing it to flex, bend, and twist. Although DDD can take place throughout the spine, it most often occurs in the discs in the lower back (lumbar region) and the neck (cervical region). 

When discs in the vertebrae no longer function normally because of wear or from being injured, it can cause pain, limiting an individual's ability to perform daily activities.

Treatment Options

Traditional spine surgery calls for removing the pain-causing disc and replacing it with plates, rods and screws. It also usually means taking bone from the hip and grafting it onto the spine. The part of the spine where the disc is removed is immobilized and that can put stress and wear on other areas of the vertebrae.

We have new options that help you retain your natural flexibility and mobility without traditional grafting. 

Lumbar Total Disc Replacement

The lumbar total disc replacement procedure removes an unhealthy disc in the lumbar region of the spine and replaces it with an implant made of chrome metal and plastic. The implant uses a ball-and-socket design to preserve motion in the treated disc area. 

It is a cutting-edge approach to spinal surgery because it does not require a bone graft or fusion. This preserves the normal motion across the disc join. There are several major benefits over traditional spine surgery: 

  • The implant absorbs pressure, distributes load and reduces degeneration of nearby spinal levels.
  • Reduced pain. 
  • Less healing time. 

Cervical Disc Replacement

Traditionally, a procedure called an Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion (ACDF) has been the gold standard for surgically treating degenerative disc disease in the cervical spine. A potential disadvantage associated with spinal fusion is loss of motion and flexibility in the treated vertebral segment. 

An artificial cervical disc replacement offers the potential for preserved neck mobility at the treated vertebral level. Instead of fusing the spine, cervical disc replacement uses a stainless steel surgical implant to treat patients suffering from degenerative disc disease of the neck.

This implant device has two components (a ball on top and a trough on the bottom) that are inserted into the disc space and attached to the vertebral bodies on either side. These components function like a joint, replicating the physiological motion and alignment of a naturally functioning cervical spine.