A relatively new procedure, dynamic stabilization of the lumbar spine involves the use of devices that provide a kind of “internal brace” for the spine when a patient has suffered a herniated disc. The devices were originally designed to stabilize the spine in conjunction with spinal fusion surgery, the most common surgery for a disc herniation, in such a way as to allow a more normal movement after surgery while the fusion is taking place, by allowing a controlled motion that doesn’t compromise stability.
Dynamic stabilization is now sometimes used alone, as an alternative to spinal fusion surgery. It is thought to be able to prevent worsening of a disc herniation, whether used alone or following fusion surgery.
Generally, dynamic stabilization devices eliminate the rigid screws and stiff metal rods that have traditionally been used in spinal surgery, replacing them with combinations of screws and cords or screws, cords, and spacers.
Some doctors are of the opinion that dynamic stabilization alone is roughly as effective as spinal fusion in reducing the pain of a herniated disc and serves as an appropriate alternative in many cases. However, because it is a relatively new procedure, long-term effects are unknown, and more research is needed.
If you have a back injury caused by an accident that was another person’s fault and your doctor is recommending dynamic stabilization, you may be eligible to receive monetary compensation for your injury.
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