What is Disc Replacement Implant Failure?
New Advanced Disc Replacement technology allows the patients spine to find its own balance and disc replacement implant failure is rare.
It must do this by providing motion and by also controlling or constraining excessive motion.
Symmetrical Failure to Re-Mobilize
Failure of a disc replacement segment to re-mobilize after disc replacement surgery is not “Disc Replacement Implant Failure“.
Re-mobilization of the segment is accomplished when both sides of the posterior longitudinal ligament are released.
If the segment fails to re-mobilize, and unload the facet joints, the disc replacement implant may never move as intended.
This is not “implant failure” but a case where full re-mobilization never occurred.
A-Symmetrical Failure to Re-Mobilize
If the segment re-mobilizes more on one side than the other then instability and segment shift can occur.
This is not “implant failure” or surgeon error, obviously unfortunate, yet likely this is not a critical event.
Disc Replacement Implant Migration
We have been doing Disc Replacement for decades and eliminating disc replacement implant migration both into the vertebral body and out of the disc space has always been a goal.
This migration is now rare with advanced disc replacement implants and careful patient selection.
Sometimes a disc replacement implant migrates due to severe stress applied soon after the surgery. It is important for patients to adhere to the instructions of the surgical team and avoid these activities until the implant has a chance to bond with the vertebra.
Are you a candidate for Disc Replacement?
Different treatments are appropriate for different stages of the degenerative disc disease.
The Unstable Spine
There are patients who have considerable instability and need more stability.
Extreme instability is an indication for Fusion.
We are not always going to get this right!
Surgeon Experience is Critical
Surgeon experience is just as critical in the decision of what surgery is appropriate as it is in the operating room!
Patient Selection is Critical
Determining a patients stability and ability to re-mobilize is an important aspect of the surgical plan.