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Countless Qatari residents live with some form of back pain. According to a global survey on the prevalence of lower back pain, 56.5% of people in Qatar live with lower back discomfort.

While this pain can often be treated with rest and medication, there are times when surgical intervention is the best option to reduce discomfort while preserving mobility.

Dr. Todd H. Lanman, an award-winning spinal neurosurgeon, already offers artificial disc replacement (ADR) surgery every other month in Doha, Qatar. This is a minimally invasive form of spinal treatment that has helped countless patients around the world treat their back pain. Learn more about this operation and how to receive services from Dr. Lanman. The first one ever done at the View Hospital in march of 2023.

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Dr. Lanman: Top Rated
Spine Surgeon

Dr. Lanman has more than 30 years of experience treating patients with back pain. He earned his M.D. with top honors in 1983 at Northwestern University and completed his residency in neurological surgery at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1989. Since then, he has run his own spinal neurosurgery practice and has remained an associate clinical professor at UCLA for 20 years.

Dr. Lanman is a leading innovator in his field who has published multiple peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on spinal conditions. He is known as Hollywood’s go-to spinal neurosurgeon and has treated A-list celebrities and C-suite executives across the globe. Now he is bringing his expertise to Doha, starting in October 2023. Dr. Lanman will be available every other month for consultations.

What is ADR?

Artificial disc replacement is an operation used to treat spinal pain, either in the upper back (cervical region) or in the lower back (lumbar region). ADR is considered an alternative to spinal fusion because it more effectively preserves the mobility of the patient while reducing pain levels.

During the operation, Dr. Lanman will remove any damaged or broken spinal discs that are located between your vertebrae and replace them with flexible, artificial models. These artificial discs feel and act like the ones already in your body, but are much more durable and can last for multiple decades.

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Who is a Candidate for
Artificial Disc
Replacement Surgery?

Every patient is different, but there are some general guidelines that doctors follow to identify qualified candidates for this operation. You might be approved for ADR if you have lived with back pain for a few months and have already tried multiple non-invasive treatment options. This operation is often recommended for people who are in otherwise good health – which means you aren’t taking a lot of other medications and have a strong heart and good lungs.

Even if you are considered a candidate for ADR, Dr. Lanman might recommend some lifestyle changes to make ahead of the operation. You should stop smoking and practice good eating habits so your body is healthy enough to successfully navigate the recovery process.

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What Symptoms Would Benefit from ADR?

Artificial disc replacement addresses a variety of spine-related symptoms. Talk to Dr. Lanman if you experience any of these problems, as he might be able to address them through ADR.

Pain at any point in your spine.

Discomfort when moving, bending, twisting, or sitting for long periods.

Limited mobility in your back due to pain or tightness.

Numbness or tingling in your arms or legs.

Shooting pains in your extremities.

Incontinence when paired with lower back pain or numbness.


Patients experience different symptoms depending on the location of the damaged spinal disc. If the disc is located in your cervical spine, you might experience numbness in your fingers and hands. If the issue is in your lumbar region, you might experience shooting pain down your legs.

The Benefits of
Artificial Disc
Replacement Surgery

Many patients feel that ADR gives them their lives back because they are able to navigate the world comfortably again. As you recover from this operation, here are a few benefits you might enjoy.

Reduced pain levels so you can enjoy life without discomfort.

The return of your mobility so you can bend and twist comfortably.

Elimination of secondary symptoms like tingling in your hands or feet.

Increased quality of life because you can work, rest, and enjoy your favorite activities comfortably.


You don’t have to change your life or stop doing what you love because of back pain. After ADR, you might be surprised how comfortably you are able to participate in family gatherings or attend events with friends again.

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Types Of ADR

There are two types of artificial disc replacement surgery: cervical and lumbar. The operation is similar for each type, but the location of the damaged disc and the incision site are different. Depending on the location of your back pain, Dr. Lanman will tell you the type of operation you need and what the recovery process looks like.

Cervical Disc Replacement

This operation occurs on damaged or broken discs in your neck and upper back. If you experience pain turning your head, looking up or down, or simply resting comfortably, you might have a damaged cervical disc. When Dr. Lanman conducts a cervical disc replacement, he often enters through the front of the neck, via the windpipe. This allows him to avoid your nerve canal for a safer, less invasive operation.

Lumbar Disc Replacement

Lumbar disc replacement addresses spinal discomfort in your lower back. In this case, Dr. Lanman will enter through your abdomen to once again avoid your nerve canal. A damaged or broken lumbar disc can make sitting or walking difficult. It might also limit your ability to lift heavy objects. This operation works to alleviate your pain so you can live comfortably.

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In-Depth Review of the Artificial Disc Replacement Procedure

Dr. Lanman is happy to walk you through the process of an artificial disc replacement operation so you can better understand how it works. He will also help you prepare for surgery so you feel confident ahead of this procedure.

Preparing for Surgery

Dr. Lanman will ask you to fast the night before the operation. This means you shouldn’t eat any food or drink anything but water after midnight before your surgery. He will confirm that you have someone to pick you up after the operation and help you during the recovery process.

This operation uses anesthesia, so you will be asleep during the procedure. You will experience some discomfort at the incision site once you wake up, but Dr. Lanman and his team will give you instructions for pain management and recovery. In the weeks following your operation, you will start to heal and resume normal activities. Eventually, you can return to your day-to-day life with lower pain levels and increased mobility.

Step by Step Process Explained

Some patients prefer detailed information about the operation before they go through it. Here is what Dr. Lanman will do to complete your ADR surgery.

The operation starts with an incision of about one inch, either through the neck or abdomen.

Dr. Lanman will then use an endoscopic lens to project a video feed of your spine onto a screen. This allows him to complete the operation without a larger incision.

Using tiny surgical tools, Dr. Lanman will remove the worn-out disc, including any broken pieces that could cause you pain.

He will then replace your removed disc with a durable artificial model.

After checking that everything is in place, Dr. Lanman will remove his endoscope and close your incision. The procedure is complete.


Dr. Lanman can address multiple tiers of broken discs at once. A one-tier replacement involves only a single disc, but Dr. Lanman has completed two-tier and three-tier replacements to address several damaged discs within one operation.

Disc Replacement vs.
Spinal Fusion

Disc replacement is an advanced alternative to spinal fusion. Historically, doctors would remove damaged discs between the bones in your spine and then fuse the vertebrae together. This fusion prevented the bones from rubbing against each other but also limited the mobility of patients.

As an alternative, artificial discs simulate the movement of the natural discs in your body. They work as shock absorbers to prevent pain and protect your vertebrae. When you opt for a disc replacement instead of fusion, you can restore your range of motion and live a comfortable, mobile life.

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Success Rate of ADR

Artificial disc replacement has a high success rate because the operation is designed to mitigate risk. The small incision made by Dr. Lanman and the quick operating time both work to lower your chances of infection during the recovery process. Surgeons are constantly developing new artificial discs that are more effective, feel more natural, and are less likely to be rejected by the body.

The success rate for ADR speaks for itself. In one study of 946 patients who underwent total lumbar disc replacement, satisfaction rates ranged from 75.5% to 93.3%. Furthermore, the overall re-operation rate was only 12.1%. This means the majority of patients did not need any extra surgical intervention to address pain from that specific disc.

Despite the high success rate, patients still need to be respectful of the recovery timeline. It will take several weeks until you can resume normal activities and up to six months to fully recover. Give your body time to adjust to your artificial disc and heal from the operation. You cannot rush this process.

Our Locations in Qatar
for an Artificial Disc
Replacement Surgery

Dr. Lanman is one of the most experienced and skilled spinal neurosurgeons in the world. He has decades of experience working with patients with a broad variety of spinal conditions. If you live with back pain and can’t seem to treat it, request a consultation with Dr. Lanman. He is happy to meet with you in his Qatari office to discuss your symptoms and develop a plan of action. The office is located in Doha, Qatar at the View Hospital.

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