Disc Arthroplasty – Lumbar

In some cases of spine damage or chronic back pain, the best solution is an artificial disc replacement (disc arthroplasty).


This surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. It involves replacing a problem disc with a prosthetic device designed to act in the same way as a natural joint. Specialised instruments are used to insert the artificial disc.

Medicare restricts the use of artificial discs if you have had surgery at the same level previously. Please note that there may be other restrictions that our staff will inform you of.


Recovery differs between patients and surgeries. As a general guide recovery may include the following:

  • Five to seven days in hospital
  • No heavy lifting for the first few weeks or so (and graduated lifting restrictions thereafter)
  • Some time off work in order to recover
  • You may need to return to work on restricted duties for a period of time
  • You may not be able to drive for 4 to 6 weeks
  • No swimming for 4 to 6 weeks
  • Physiotherapy
  • Pain medication
  • Rehabilitation depending on the surgery
  • A back brace is sometimes required
  • You may need to meet with an Occupational Therapist


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