A rapidly developing alternative to spinal fusion surgery, artificial disc replacement is a procedure that involves replacing a painful disc that is causing chronic back pain with an artificial disc that provides pain relief without compromising the spine’s natural anatomical structure. Artificial disc replacement surgery may be performed on the lower back (lumbar spine) or the neck (cervical spine). Artificial discs are structurally similar to the damaged discs that are replaced and share similar functions, including acting as shock absorbers in the back or neck.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has currently approved several artificial discs for lumbar disc replacement: the Charite disc (made by DePuy) and the ProDisc L (Synthes). The FDA has also approved three artificial discs for cervical disc replacement: the Prestige® Cervical Disc System (Medtronic), the ProDisc™-C (Synthes), and the Bryan® Cervical Disc System (Medtronic). Learn more about artificial disc replacement in the following resources.