A 25-year-old female asked:
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can someone be honest about the invasiveness of a total disc replacement? would it be impossible to return to elite running afterwards?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Carl Spivak
28 years experience Orthopedic Spine Surgery
Depends what disk.: Healing and recovery is much better and more complete after disk replacement surgery in your neck then in your low back. Many people can return to high level physical activity after spine surgery, but not everyone and unfortunately there is no way to predict and no guarantees. Good luck!
Answered on Dec 8, 2012
Dr. Thomas Dowling
40 years experience Orthopedic Spine Surgery
No reconstructive : Spine surgery returns the anatomy to normal but takes an abnormal situaion & makes it better, ideally. So, if you have failed at least 6 months of nonop care including: physical therapy & medication with studies consistent with no instability or multilevel disease as well as no facet joint problems, you may be able to return to that level. The surgery is invasive requiring 6-12 weeks of recovery.
Answered on Jan 15, 2014
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