Pre-Op Considerations

Judgment Comes from Experience, Experience Comes from Lack of Judgment

Many risks are inherent in any spinal procedure. ADR risks include infection (internal and external), excessive bleeding, reactions to anesthesia, nerve damage and related spinal complications such as heterotopic ossification. Unfortuntately, there is little published in the area of post-op complications, which is tragic if you are a patient assessing the risks of a spinal procedure. Thus, the lack of references cited below.

The following post-op complications are loosely ranked in terms of actual occurrence (after an artificial disc replacement procedure):

Infection, Internal:

Infection, External:

Vascular Damage

Anesthesia Reaction

Risk of impotence, sterility, or retrograde ejaculation in males

Risk of injury to ureters and lymphatic ducts

Facet Joint Complications


Bowel Obstruction

Heterotopic Ossification

There are other complications that can and do occur post operatively. Additional post op risks include thrombophlebitis, lung problems, implant migration (including subsidence), spinal cord injury, transitional syndrome and pseudoarthrosis. A succinct summary article describing these conditions is found at:

If you are considering ADR as a surgical option, research these conditions to help you converse intelligently with your doctor(s). Visit Interactive Tutorials or Spine Research Sites to learn more.