Lumbar Disc Replacement

Motion Sparing Artificial Disc

Motion Sparing Artificial Disc

Lumbar Disk Replacement (also called Total Disc Arthroplasty TDA) is the removal and replacement of one or several impaired discs in the lower back with an FDA approved motion sparing artificial disc (ActivL). The top and bottom of the disk are metallic plates that attach to either vertebrae. A curved, compressible plastic layer separates the metallic plates and replicates the nucleus of the spines natural discs, allowing them to slide and compress.

Learn more about activL with this Media Fact Sheet:

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View Interactive Video activL

Lumbar Disc Replacement vs. Lumbar Fusion

Traditional fusion methods which involve replacing the disc with a bone graft (causing the vertebrae to grow together) lead to a complete loss of motion. Lumbar fusion restricts the natural biomechanics of the lumbar spine which includes flexion (bending forward), extension (bending backward), axial rotation, and lateral flexion (bending left and right). Fusion should be the last, not first option. Other benefits of Lumbar Disc Replacement compared fusion include:

LDR vs. LFDisc ReplacementFusion
Recovery Time 1 week or less4-6 weeks
Return to Work 65 days fewer than Fusion165 days longer than Disc Replacement1
Range of Motion Comparable to the natural spineComplete loss of motion
Oswestry Disability Index (Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire) Better clinical outcomes2Worse clinical outcomes2
Visual Analog Scale (VAS) of Neck and Arm Pain Score Better clinical outcomes1Worse clinical outcomes1

Non-union spinal fusion (pseudarthrosis)

Eliminated because the disc is replacedPossible because the disks are grafted together
Wound Infection Less common2More common2

Rates of Subsequent Surgery (90-day and 1-year)


activL Artificial Disc vs. Conventional Disc Design

Not only does activL outperform traditional fusion approaches but it even has improved outcomes compared to conventional disc designs. Read the clinical trial on the right performed by Aesculap to learn more.

To see if Disc Replacement is right for you call us at 305.830.0730 or schedule a consultation today!