While many patients are helped by lumbar fusion, the results of the surgery can vary. In addition, some patients whose fusion surgeries heal perfectly still end up with no improvement of their back pain.
Some doctors believe that the failure to improve after fusion surgery is due to the fact that fusion prevents normal motion in the spine. For this reason, artificial disk replacement which aims to preserve normal motion—has emerged as an alternative treatment option for low back pain. Artificial disk replacement initially gained FDA approval for use in the U.S. in 2004. Over the past several years, numerous disk replacement designs have been developed and are currently being tested.
• Your back pain mostly comes from only 1 or 2 disks in your lower spine
• You have no significant joint disease or compression on the nerves of your spine
• You are not excessively overweight
• You haven’t previously had spinal surgery
• You don’t have scoliosis or another spinal deformity
• Back pain caused by one or two problematic intervertebral disks in the lumbar spine
• No significant facet joint disease or bony compression on spinal nerves
• Body size that is not excessively overweight
• No prior major surgery on the lumbar spine
• No deformity of the spine (scoliosis)
not available currently