Device for intervertebral assisted motion (DIAM)

Treating degenerative disc disease and lower back pain

A common procedure to relieve lower back and leg pain caused by degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis

What is a DIAM implant?

If you're experiencing lower back and leg pain from degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis, your consultant may recommend a DIAM implant.

The H-shaped implant restores the height of the worn disc to release trapped nerves. It's sutured in place with a mesh band to hold it in position.

The procedure is an alternative to fusion surgery.

Need to know

  • What happens during the DIAM procedure? icon plus

    As we age, the discs in our backs can wear down and create less space in our spines. This causes impaired mobility, and significant leg and back pain. A small incision is made in your back, before the problem disc is removed and the DIAM inserted. The DIAM is sutured in place with a mesh band to hold it in position. The short procedure is performed under a light general anaesthetic.
  • How to prepare for a DIAM procedure icon plus

    Your consultant will tell you if you have to avoid eating and drinking before the procedure. Because general anaesthetic is used during the procedure, you may need to fast for several hours before the operation. Your consultant will tell you should avoid eating and drinking. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • After your procedure icon plus

    You will need to lie flat for three to four hours before attempting to sit up. A physiotherapist or nurse will help you move about when you feel able, and you should be moving independently within a few days. You'll spend about two nights in hospital.

    On discharge you will be given analgesia pain relief medicine and any other required medications. It is advisable that you continue taking your analgesia for at least two weeks post-discharge. Your surgeon may ask you to wear a corset post-surgery. This is to be worn when moving around. By four weeks post-surgery, you should be sitting comfortably for 45mins-1hr at a time.

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We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced spinal consultants. We can also make imaging and outpatient physiotherapy appointments for you.

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020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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