Cervical And Lumbar Disc Arthroplasty | Dr. Navin Subramanian

Cervical and Lumbar Disc Arthroplasty

Cervical and Lumbar Disc Arthroplasty

Disc replacement surgery is an emerging option for the treatment of painful spinal discs. Artificial Disc Replacement, or ADR, is otherwise known as Disc Arthroplasty. Dr. Subramanian is a leading physician in disc replacement surgery, and is committed to helping patients achieve pain relief caused by spinal symptoms/problems.


Typically, ADR is used in patients who have chronic back pain that hasn’t resolved with other treatment methods. Dr. Subramanian often uses testing to determine the best candidates for surgery. These tests include MRI scans, Diskography, CT scans and/or X-Rays. This allows him to determine the exact source of a patient’s lower back pain.

The best candidates for ADR usually display the following characteristics:

  • Back pain caused by one to two intervertebral discs in the spine
  • No facet joint disease or compression on spinal nerves
  • Not excessively overweight
  • No prior surgery on the spine
  • No spinal deformity (scoliosis)

Types of ADR

Lumbar Arthroplasty

Lumbar discs are in the lower spine. A lumbar disc replacement surgery, otherwise known as a lumbar arthroplasty, is a procedure that replaces a worn or degenerated disc with an artificial disc made of metal and/or plastic. Lumbar disc replacement is often seen as the alternative treatment option to spinal fusion (a procedure that permanently fuses two vertebrae together).

Cervical Arthroplasty

Cervical discs are the discs in between the vertebrae of your neck. A cervical disc replacement, otherwise known as a cervical arthroplasty, is a procedure that replaces a degenerated cervical disc with an artificial disc made of metal and/or plastic.

Artificial discs are designed to help patients maintain mobility. It functions like a joint, allowing for flexing, bending, turning and rotating.


Most often, disc replacement surgery takes between two and three hours. Depending on the type of disc replacement, Dr. Subramanian makes an incision in the patient’s abdomen or neck, moving aside organs and blood vessels. This approach allows Dr. Subramanian to access the patient’s spine without moving any nerves.

Then, Dr. Subramanian removes the patient’s problematic disc and corrects the problem by replacing it with an artificial one. In most cases, the artificial disc replaces the entire annulus and nucleus with a mechanical device that simulates spinal function. This allows the patient to live free of pain, but still gives them mobility to get back to the activities they love.

Artificial discs come in many materials—including metal or metal/plastic (such as a combination of polyethylene and cobalt chromium or titanium alloy). Dr. Subramanian consults with each patient individually to determine which disc is best for them.


Most patients remain in the hospital for one to three days following their disc replacement surgery. Dr. Subramanian typically encourages patients to walk the day following surgery as early movement indicates a quicker recovery.

If you are experiencing lower back pain that hasn’t bettered with traditional methods, schedule a consultation with Dr. Subramanian today. Call (713) 650-6900 or visit https://drsubramanian.com/contact/.