Total Disc Replacement in the Spine

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Motion Preserving Disc Replacement

Total Disc Replacements are used to manage diseases of the spine that can lead to symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or pain, and can be caused by either degenerative conditions (often due to aging) or traumatic situations (such as motor vehicle accidents).

The vast majority of patients fully recover with one or several non-surgical treatments, however some patients with significant disease or degeneration can require disc replacement surgery. Dr. Michael Donahue is committed to offer his patients newer, but proven treatments to ensure he can provide patients with optimal care solutions by offering both cervical and lumbar total disc replacement.

This technology works to relieve pain in patients suffering from a diseased or degenerated spinal disc while enabling motion over the long term in the spinal segment, and reducing adjacent-level degeneration and re-operations. Dr. Donahue can speak to this personally as he himself is a patient with a cervical disc replacement implant in his own neck.

Typical injuries treated include:

  • Herniated Disk
  • Neck/Shoulder/Arm Pain or Numbness/Tingling
  • Neck Sprain
  • Leg Pain or Numbness/Tingling
  • Back Pain
  • Back Sprain
  • Diseases of the Neck and Back are also treated, including:
  • Lumbar/Cervical Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve)
  • Lumbar/Cervical Spondylosis
  • Lumbar/Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy (Spinal Cord Compression)

Doctors and physical therapists will often use many different non-surgical treatments before resorting to disc replacement including:

  • Spinal Injections
  • Spine Conditioning Program
  • Physical Therapy
  • Disc Replacement

Total Disc Replacement surgery is a minimally invasive spinal surgery that is used to treat degenerated and damaged discs in the spine. In this procedure, the damaged disc is removed and replaced with an artificial disc. Replacing the degenerated disc with an artificial disc preserves the natural structure and height of the spine and also restores fluid movement and flexibility. The goal of this surgery is to preserve motion and ensure patients can return to activities.


Like other minimally invasive spine surgeries, there are many benefits of total disc replacement. Some of these benefits include:

  • Reduces damage and degeneration of other discs
  • Reduced pain
  • Faster recovery time
  • Less post-surgical complications
  • Increases range of motion and flexibility post-surgery

There are many surgical solutions for treating DDD depending upon a patient’s diagnosis, physical condition, surgeon’s training, and other factors. Your surgeon will discuss the options that are available for your situation. One of those options may include an anterior fusion surgical procedure called Total Disc Replacement (TDR) or Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion (ACDF) for neck (cervical) conditions, Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) or Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (LLIF) for low back (lumbar) conditions.

Complete disc replacement surgery is designed to relieve pain and improve patient outcomes by removing the degenerated disc and replacing it with an artificial disc. Lumbar Disc Replacement (LDR) is an alternative to spinal fusion surgery that fuses two vertebrae together to treat Degenerative Disc Disease. Compared to fusion, LDR provides increased range of motion and flexibility, is less invasive, and has fewer post-surgery complications.

Prodisc Patient Stories

Prodisc C is the most studied and widely used total disc replacement in the world and is an alternative to cervical fusion. With this procedure, the normal dynamic function of the spine is restored which also reduces pain.

This artificial disc restores the function of the spine through mechanisms that replace intervertebral discs that are located between the vertebral bodies encasing the spinal cord. These discs are vital to the proper functioning of the spine as they act as shock absorbers.

The main goal of Prodisc C is to maintain mobility in the affected intervertebral disc and to reduce extra loading on the adjacent intervertebral discs.


Prodisc L total disc replacement is an alternative to Lumbar Fusion. Used for over 25 years, Prodisc L is used to maintain spinal balance and motion in patients with Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD).

The previous gold standard for treatment of DDD was joint fusion which immobilized segments of the spine and has shown to increase the rate of adjacent level degeneration. Prodisc L was created to treat DDD while maintaining motion and improving spine stability. In fact, clinical data has shown that patients had 3.5 times more development of adjacent level disease with fusion than with Prodisc L.

With Prodisc L total disc replacement, recovery time is accelerated, and patients can resume their daily activities faster than other treatments like fusion.

Center for Advanced Orthopedics is a Michigan based, state-of-the-art Orthopedic facility. With Orthopedic offices in Auburn Hills and Troy, we're able to serve our community with dedication and care. From young children to school students to our elderly population, we're able to provide top notch Orthopedic care for necks, spines, knees, hips, joint and arthritis therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and more. Call us to see how our Orthopedic specialists can help you today!

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