Lumbar Disc Replacement
While there have been significant advances in devices and techniques for spinal fusion surgery, the procedure does not always work reliably. For example, in a review of 4,454 patients in 78 reports, Bono and Lee found the average fusion rate was 85% and the average clinical success rate (pain reduction) was 75%. It was also determined that a successful spinal fusion takes a relatively long time (3 to 24 months with an average of 15 months) for healing and recuperation, and causes adverse effects on adjacent levels over time.
Additionally, Transition Syndrome (premature degeneration at adjacent levels of the spine) remains one of the more vexing problems for spinal surgeons when advising relatively young people to consider fusion surgery.
But with the wide range of new products, procedures and techniques currently in development to enhance spine surgery, many physicians see real promise for significantly improving standard care for patients.
This is especially true when it comes to artificial disc technology. In fact, recent published data from the Charite trial, as well as interim comparative data from the larger ProDisc investigational study centers, demonstrate improved VAS and Oswestry functional scores in arthroplasty patients and suggest an earlier return to work, with better lumbar motion, as compared to the control fusion group.