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Disc Replacement Specialist

J. Rafe Sales, MD -  - Spine Surgeon

J. Rafe Sales, MD

Spine Surgeon located in Portland, Newberg & Lake Oswego, OR

Your spinal discs are vulnerable to wear-and-tear, and can eventually deteriorate to the point where replacement is necessary. At his practice at St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, J. Rafe Sales, MD, a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon, offers state-of-the-art disc replacement procedures to restore your spine and reduce your pain. Call Dr. Sales or make an appointment online today to find out if disc replacement is right for you.

Disc Replacement Q & A

What is a disc replacement?

Between each of your vertebrae, you have a rubbery disc that cushions your spine and allows you to bend and twist your back. However, over time your spinal discs can deteriorate from daily wear-and-tear, degenerative conditions, and injuries. When other treatments don’t restore your discs, Dr. Sales offer disc replacement procedures to restore your spine health with a state-of-the-art artificial disc like the Orthofix M6-C™.

Why would I need a disc replacement?

As a patient, you’re most likely to seek treatment for back pain that’s interfering with your mobility or quality of life. Dr. Sales and his team provide thorough exams to identify the condition or injury that is causing your pain. 

Often, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, or disc damage from bone spurs are the root cause of your back pain. Dr. Sales usually provides conservative treatments such as spinal injections and physical therapy before recommending disc replacement surgery. However, if conservative treatments don’t relieve your pain, he might recommend surgery to repair your spine. 

Signs that you might need disc replacement surgery include:

  • Back pain limits your mobility
  • Back pain disrupts your sleep
  • Pain radiates through your arms or legs
  • Weakness or numbness in your arms or legs

If you’ve been living with chronic back pain and other symptoms due to disc problems, contact Dr. Sales to learn about disc replacement surgery and how it can help you.

What happens during a disc replacement?

Dr. Sales performs disc replacement surgery while you are under general anesthesia. He can use a variety of approaches, depending on the location of your damaged disc and other factors such as nerve location. 

During the procedure, Dr. Sales makes an incision in your body and moves your internal tissues so he can reach your spine. Then, he carefully removes your damaged spinal disc, restores the space between your vertebrae, and cleans away any debris or abnormal bone growths. Finally, he implants your replacement disc and closes the incisions.

Whenever possible, Dr. Sales uses minimally invasive surgical techniques and state-of-the-art surgical technology to reduce the physical trauma of disc replacement. For example, surgery for one cervical disc replacement can take less than 30 minutes. 

What should I expect while recovering from a disc replacement?

Dr. Sales prescribes medicine to prevent infection and pain and might recommend that you wear a brace to stabilize your spine. In most cases, you have physical therapy to restore your strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Every patient heals at their own rate, but in many cases, you can expect to get back to work in about a week. 

If you’re looking for an expert spine surgeon, call Dr. Sales or book an appointment online today.