This surgery replaces one of the lumbar intervertebral discs from the front with a flexible prosthesis that maintains motion at the operated level. It is used to treat back pain due to disc degeneration in carefully selected cases. The incision is on the lower abdomen and a few days in hospital are needed.
Surgery is done through the lower abdomen and the front of the spine is revealed by retraction of abdominal contents and mobilising the large arteries and veins. Special circular retractors are used to maintain a clear view of the intervertebral disc in question. The disc is cut out and a specially designed prosthesis is inserted in its place. The device is secured by cutting narrow slots in the bone into which fins on the device fit tightly.
There is some abdominal pain afterwards and painkillers are used. Walking from the first day after surgery is supported by the physiotherapy team. Time in hospital is a few days and from there most people go home.