, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 210-217

Artificial disc replacement with the modular type SB Charité III: 2-year results in 50 prospectively studied patients

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The Modular Type SB Charité disc prosthesis has been developed as a device for artificial disc replacement (ADR) in patients with symptomatic discopathies. Here, we report on our first series of 50 (out of 350) patients, who had a satisfactory clinical result in 70% of cases (2 years’ follow-up). Subgroup analysis revealed that patients with an isolated discopathy without previous spinal operations or other pathology at the same or other spinal level benefitted more from the surgery. However, this technique was associated with some problems: a 13% rate of permanent side-effects and/or complications was observed caused by the anterior approach. Four percent were related to poor implantation technique. There were no problems related to the material of the prosthesis. Twelve patients needed re-operation, but this was beneficial in only three of them. In one patient we had to convert to an interbody fusion. We conclude that in patients with severe isolated symptomatic discopathies that are resistant to conservative treatment, a mobile disc prosthesis is worth considering as a real alternative to a spondylodesis. However, accurate patient selection is imperative. With these criteria we were encouraged by our results to continue the implantation of this artificial disc.

Received: 15 November 1996 Revised: 17 December 1998 Accepted: 11 January 1999