Artificial Disc Specialist

Surgical Spine Associates

Eugene A Bonaroti, MD, FACS

Board Certified Neurological Spine Surgeon with locations in Irwin, Cranberry, and Washington, PA

If you struggle with chronic neck or low back pain due to a damaged disc, an artificial disc replacement can relieve your pain while preserving normal spine movement. As a board-certified neurosurgeon with more than two decades of experience performing complex spinal surgery, Eugene Bonaroti, MD, FACS, at Surgical Spine Associates offers compassionate care while providing the full scope of spinal care, including cervical and lumbar artificial disc replacements. To learn if you might benefit from an artificial disc, call one of the offices in Irwin, Cranberry, or Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, or schedule an appointment online.

Artificial Disc Q & A

What is an artificial disc?

An artificial disc is a mechanical device that’s specially designed to replace a damaged intervertebral disc. Artificial discs restore the normal disc height, remove pressure on nerves, and preserve spinal movement.

Artificial discs are typically made from two metal endplates with a piece of medical-grade plastic in the middle, a design that closely mimics your natural discs.

Dr. Bonaroti uses today’s most modern technology, using advanced discs such as:

  • The Mobi-C® Cervical Disc
  • The activL® Artificial Disc
  • The prodisc® L Total Disc Replacement

These discs come equipped with patented technology that preserves natural spinal motion.

When might I need an artificial disc?

Dr. Bonaroti may recommend an artificial disc to alleviate pain and restore the loss of movement caused by degenerative disc disease or a herniated disc.

Degenerative disc disease develops over the years as your discs dehydrate, flatten, and lose their ability to function properly. A herniated disc occurs when the disc’s gel-like center bulges out through a weak spot or tear in the outer covering.

Am I a good candidate for an artificial disc?

Dr. Bonaroti performs a thorough evaluation to determine the underlying cause of your pain. If you haven’t already received care for your neck or back, he begins your treatment with conservative options such as anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy.

If your pain persists or gets worse despite treatment, Dr. Bonaroti talks with you about your surgical options and determines if you’re a good candidate for artificial disc replacement.

Good candidates meet the following qualifications:

  • You only need one or two discs replaced
  • You don’t have facet joint disease
  • You’re not obese
  • You don’t have a spinal malformation
  • You haven’t had prior lumbar spine surgery

Several problems can prevent you from receiving an artificial disc. For example, you may not be a good candidate if you have osteoporosis, a vertebral fracture or tumor, or a slipped vertebra.

What happens during surgery to implant an artificial disc?

Dr. Bonaroti performs several basic steps, but the exact procedure depends on the type of artificial disc he inserts. 

He first removes the damaged disc and repairs any problems, such as eliminating a bone spur. Then he carefully measures the space, chooses the appropriately sized artificial disc, and inserts it.

If you suffer from neck or back pain and you’d like to learn more about artificial discs, call Surgical Spine Associates or schedule an appointment online.