The goal of artificial disc replacement is to preserve natural function of the spine and to avoid progressing degeneration of adjacent levels.
Artificial discs have been used in the lumbar spine for 30 years and in the cervical spine for more than 15 years. The design of the implants varies; previous generations of prosthesises could never imitate the complete function of a healthy disc. Only with the M6 prosthesis, which we have been using in the cervical spine since 2005 and at the lumbar spine since 2009, has a prosthesis become available that can biomechanically mimic the natural disc. In addition, the M6 prosthesis has been thoroughly investigated biomechanically and can demonstrate a high durability in the biomechanical tests. It can be assumed that the prosthesis can complete 30 million cycles of motion without exhibiting any significant wear damage. This means that the prosthesis may work 60 to 75 years without significant wear. If the indication for surgery is correct, studies published internationally in recent years have shown that artificial disc replacement is superior to fusion or conservative treatment. The main focus here is that following lumbar artificial disc replacement, a large percentage of patients can lead a completely normal life. Regardless of the professional activity or preferred sports a high load capacity is possible.
Our team is currently looking back on over 4,100 patients with more than 6,600 implants, including more than 3,100 patients with 4,800 implants in the lumbar spine and over 1000 patients with over 1800 implants in the cervical spine. The complication rate is about 1.4%, wherein a majority of the complications can either be managed without additional revision surgery or are negligible.
Follow Al's journey from 1 month before lumbar cervical surgery to his return to life back home.