Artficial Disc Replacement - Aftercare
Artificial disc replacement requires little aftercare or physical therapy. This is sometimes difficult for the patients to accept, because the problem has been so great in their lives or because they think it is like knee or hip replacement. In fact, we have seen people cause themselves additional pain and even harm by using unapproved physical therapy and massage after surgery. Artificial disc replacement is very different from knee or hip replacement, so the emphasis is on healing.
The primary aftercare is the scheduling of wearing the orthesis, which Prof. Dr. Bertagnoli schedules individually for each patient. The orthesis is there to remind the patient to limit their motion. The primary focus of the orthesis is to prevent a migration of the artificial disc replacement. To date no patient has had a migration of the artificial disc implant, but we know this occurs in 5% of the patients world-wide. The lumbar orthesis is adjustable and Prof. Dr. Bertagnoli individual sets the decrease in resistance for each patient.
Prof. Dr. Bertagnoli tracks the patients up to 10 years after surgery. During that time he has the patient send him X-rays and fill out questionnaires on a periodic basis. This automatically done with the patient evaluation software, which all new patients receiving artificial disc replacement are on.