Comparing The M6 Artificial Disc to the BalancedBack®
If you’ve done any research about Disc Replacement you more than likely came across the M6 artificial disc and the new BalanceBack® Implant as a potential solution for degenerated disc disease, herniated disc and spinal stenosis.
You may still be unclear about what differentiates an M6 disc replacement from traditional artificial disc replacement (ADR) surgery, and why M6 is the next-generation of Disc Replacement technology. Keep reading for a clear explanation of the M6 and how it compares to Early Disc Replacement Implants and the new artificial disc innovation The BalancedBack®.
What is the M6 Disc Replacement?
The Spinal Kinetics M6 Disc Replacement is not an artificial disc with a hard plastic center made of polyurethane. The M6 has a viscoelastic polymer nucleus and an outer annulus of polyurethane fiber for stability. This viscoelastic polymer nucleus makes the disc compressible similar to a real, natural disc and capable of shock absorption. Early artificial discs have hard polyethylene cores (some glide back and forth to accommodate motion others are fixed), but they aren’t compressible.
This unique design of The M6 Disc allows for shock absorption and provides a controlled range of motion. M6 Disc is unique and not the same as Early ADR designs.
- The M6 Disc is used to address disc-related issues that are causing pain, such as a herniated disc or an annular tear. Most of the time, people who have a compromised disc also have other spinal problems, like spinal stenosis (narrowing of the nerve openings) causing pinched nerves, or damaged facet joints. In those cases, replacing the damaged disc will also resolve the patient’s back pain by restoring the spacing between the vertebrea, thus resolving the narrowing of the nerve exit canals and restore natural motion to the facet joints relieving pain and allowing the joint to heal. This means The M6 Disc unlike early uncontrolled ADR designs will relieve pain for a very large percentage of patients. (Study Results "pain scores available for 80 patients showed significant improvement over 24 months after surgery, both in single-level and multi-level procedures.")
- It uses an anterior (through the stomach) approach. The anterior approach allows for intervention without removal of bone, displacement of ligaments and risk to sensitive spinal cord and spinal nerves like an approach through the back.
- The surgeon can easily navigate past the major blood vessels in the stomach area to reach the spine. This less traumatic approach presents no great challenge should a patient later need additional surgery to address another degenerated disc or require additional surgery.
As you might have guessed, it’s the compressibility of the M6 that makes it so popular. Truth is, while there’s no disputing the fact that the M6-L artificial disc’s compressibility mimics natural physiologic motion, there is no reason to question the significance of restoring natural motion. Studies have proven that the M6 Disc provides significant to pain relief and safety allowing patients to return to normal quality of life.
The M6 Disc Replacement continues to be the #1-selling Artificial Disc Replacement in Europe.
M6 Disc Replacement Vs. BalancedBack®
The BalancedBack® Total Joint Replacement is one of the newest innovations in artificial disc technology: an implant that replaces the complete spinal joint, facets included, not just the disc. The metal ball and socket will not allow patients to retain full range of motion, just like a natural disc since it has no shock absorption. Facet joints are also removed and their functions taken up by the device. As a result, patients will not move naturally after surgery, bending, twisting, sitting, standing, and slumping. Keeping all your natural joints is important because they can continue to share the mechanical load of movement, preventing the rapid degeneration of joints that take on an increased amount of stress.
Another problem of BalancedBack® is that it uses a posterior approach (through the back) to implant the device. Not only is there much more risk, bone removal and damage to vital structures with this approach, but it also results in longer recovery and additional pain.
The BalancedBack® implant uses the same pedicle screw fixation as the typical constructs used in fusion surgery.
BalancedBack® also addresses both back and leg pain, but may only be appropriate for as few as 50 percent of potential patients.
Do you have further questions about BalancedBack® as it compares to M6 disc replacement and ADR?
Get a Free MRI Review by an experienced spine surgeon.
Talk to us, call 209-888-1551 to learn more about Joint Preserving Disc Replacement and how it might help you get back your normal life!
Check out what our patients are doing after M6 Disc Replacement >
BalancedBack® Total Joint Replacement
M6 Disc Replacement - You Decide!