What is Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR)?

Artificial disc replacement (ADR) can be life-changing for many patients. ADR is a safe, minimally invasive, surgical procedure that helps to eliminate pain, restore spinal movement, and overall improve quality of life. The procedure is a highly effective and safe process, with patients typically returning to everyday activities within a few weeks after surgery.


Types of ADR

Cervical Disc

Cervical Disc Replacement is a type of artificial disc replacement that occurs in the cervical region (the neck and upper back) of the spine. The procedure removes a damaged vertebral disc and replaces it with an artificial “joint” that acts in the same way as a natural vertebral disc. This will allow the spine to rotate, bend and flex without causing pain.

Lumbar Disc

Lumbar Disc Replacement is a surgical procedure to remove a damaged disc in the lower spine and replace it with an artificial disc. When a disc in your lumbar region is damaged or pinches nerves, removing and replacing it with an artificial lumbar disc can help relieve pain and restore mobility.

“My priority as a surgeon is getting you
better and back to the lifestyle you enjoy”

Dr. Jason M. Cuéllar


A Word From
Dr. Cuéllar About ADR

At Cuéllar Spine, we want to support the best possible outcome decision for you and your pain-free future. Our team will help you to determine which procedure makes the most sense for your current spinal condition and for your future pain management plan.

Although not all patients are eligible for ADR, one can see the advantages of either when it comes to addressing chronic back pain. The clearest advantage to ADR is that the surgery allows a patient to preserve motion and agility in the spine. This advantage is very important for patients who have plans to remain active throughout their lives.

ADR vs. Spinal Fusion

Which Option is the Best
Treatment for your Condition?



Pros +

Cons -

Spinal Fusion

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Cons -


The Latest News, Highlights,
and Insights from Dr. Cuéllar







“Attentive, knowledgeable, professional, and treats every patient with individual care! Saved my dad’s life with his minimally invasive procedure and his mindfulness of the medication my father was on before procedure. Thank you Dr. Cuéllar!”

- Eleena H.


“Dr. Cuellar - THANK YOU!
When you live with pain for so long you tend forget what it's like to feel great and to be able to do all the things that you once did but had to give up. I tried everything under the sun to help alleviate my chronic back pain before I decided to go the surgery route. I was seen by two orthopedic surgeons about my issues and was told that I would need a spinal fusion and I knew I didn't want to go that route. By happenstance, I heard about Dr. Cuellar and ADR surgery.

On my way home from my initial appointment with Dr. Cuellar I was confident that if I was a candidate for ADR, he was the one that was going to help me. He's very knowledgeable, compassionate, professional and an all-around nice individual. When I explained to him what was going on he was attentive, which has not been my experience with doctors in the past. His friendly support staff was communicative about appointments and pre-op/post-op information.

On 12/8/23 I had two artificial discs replaced at the L4 L5 levels - I'm 3 months post-surgery and feeling wonderful.

I highly recommend Dr. Cuellar for spinal issues.”



“Dr. Jason Cuéllar is the most gentle, genuine, and talented doctor I have ever met. From our first consultation to his continued care after both my procedures, he remains steady. He addresses all of your questions and concerns without hesitation and does not make you feel rushed or a bother. He has changed my life forever and I am forever in his debt. He has given me my life back.

I have been in debilitating pain for over 15 years, with the last 5, leaving me almost bedridden. He addressed my problem areas within my vertebrae and gave me so much HOPE. I was extremely skeptical of the positivity he was putting out, but I had NO other choice and I was tired of the run around with so many other Dr. and chiropractors. I’m so happy I followed through and he took me into his hands. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. The whole process was smooth and easy. The staff helped me when I would become anxious and made sure to reassure and address any concerns I had before surgery. Dr. Cuellar and the anesthesiologist both came to me and talked with me before each surgery. When I awoke, he was there beside me again.

I just can’t express enough, the gratitude and love I have for him. If you are in doubt, don’t be. You are in the best hands out there. Don’t hesitate, you won’t regret it. I had 3 cervical ADR and 2 lumbar ADR”



What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative Disc Disease occurs when spinal intervertebral discs begin to deteriorate over time.

How Does a Herniated Disc Lead to Pain?

Because the spinal canal has such limited space, a displaced fragment - or herniated disc - puts too much pressure on the spinal nerves which results in pain or other symptoms such as numbness, tingling or weakness.

Who is a Suitable Candidate for Artificial Disc Replacement?

Ask your doctor is ADR is right for you. Age may not play a factor, however, other health conditions such as osteoporosis may be important.

How is Spinal Cord Safety Ensured during Surgery?

During surgery, patients are under spinal cord monitoring, where wires and electrodes are connected to skin and muscle. Any changes in the nervous system are detected by a computer and may point to a problem. Your surgical staff will monitor this system throughout your surgery.

What are the Long-Term Outcomes for Artificial Disc Replacement?

Many studies have been done to examine the outcomes of an artificial disc replacement surgery, particularly at the post surgery 5 and 10 year mark. Prior to artificial disc replacement, a spinal fusion was the main method of surgically repairing damaged discs. However, a spinal fusion creates a lack of movement, which puts more stress on the parts of the spine above and below the site. Over time, that can stress the neighboring levels of the spine (a condition known as adjacent segment disease). Such a scenario would mean a high likelihood of additional surgery will be needed. An artificial disc replacement has a lower incidence of needing another surgery in the future.

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    Dr. Cuéllar accepts most major insurance plans, but is an out of network provider. Please contact our team for more information.