Just as a knee or hip replacement substitutes the worn out bone, artificial disc replacement surgery involves replacing a painful disc with an artificial one. Artificial disc replacement surgery may be performed on the lower back (lumbar spine) or the neck (cervical spine). Artificial discs are designed to stimulate the form and function of the spine’s natural disc.
Although several products have FDA approval for artificial disc replacement, most recently, Aesculap Implant Systems, LLC, announced that it has received FDA approval for the commercial sale of their state-of-the-art activL artificial disc for the treatment of one-level lumbar degenerative disc disease. ActivL is designed as an alternative to spinal fusion surgery to allow motion at the treated level of the lower back.
The activL artificial disc features cobalt chromium endplates that affix to the patient’s vertebrae with bone-sparing spikes for stabilization. It is the first lumbar artificial disc with a mobile ultra high molecular weight polyethylene core that supports both controlled translational and rotational movement similar to the movement of the healthy lumbar spine. It offers the widest range of footprints and heights, including an 8.5 mm design, which is the lowest height available on the market.
Aesculap is the first medical device company in ten years to introduce a new lumbar disc to the market, and the specialized surgeons at the Florida Spine Institute are pleased to be performing disc replacement surgery using this breakthrough device for patients who qualify.