Understanding your Disc Replacement Implant Options
Many people ask what are the differences between all these disc replacement implant options available?
Let's break it down...
Disc replacement was invented in the 80s in Germany at the Charite Hospital in Berlin. The first disc replacement implant was the Charite Lumbar Disc Replacement, a hard plastic sliding core implant. Other hard plastic core and all metal disc replacement implants were developed over the years.
These early implants had some drawbacks and serious concerns!
- No shock absorption - creating impact damage risks
- Hyper Activity - creating wear on the facet joints
- Implant Migration - The implant moving into the vertebrae or forward or backwards
- Instability - Complicating multi-level use
- Wear Debris -
Many of these implants are still in use despite these known risks.
Disc Replacement surgery options in the USA are limited by the FDA and Insurance carriers.
This means that patients who may be candidates for disc replacement from a medical point of view are often not offered a disc replacement surgery option in the US.
These patients are offered fusion surgery or are treated with less effective micro discectomy and laminectomy, sometimes called laser spine surgery, or older implant designs.
Newer advanced implant options resolved these issues and now provide shock absorption, better stability, motion control and improved end plate fixation.