Artificial Disc for the Low Back
The concept of the Artificial Disc is to provide an option to spinal fusion surgery. Each year in the U.S., more than 200,000 spinal fusion surgeries are performed to relieve excruciating pain caused by damaged discs in the low back and neck areas.
During a fusion procedure, the damaged disc is typically replaced with bone from a patient’s hip or from a bone bank. Fusion surgery causes two vertebrae to become locked in place, putting additional stress on discs above and below the fusion site, which restricts movement and can lead to further disc herniation with the discs above and below the degenerated disc.
An artificial disc replacement is intended to duplicate the function level of a normal, healthy disc and retain motion in the spine.
Up to recently, one of the chief concerns about using an artificial disc in the low back (lumbar area) is that the weight of the trunk, along with the twisting stresses placed on an artificial disc could make the implant wear out prematurely.