Dynamics of an Intervertebral Disc Prosthesis in Human Cadaveric Spines


Low-back pain is a common, disabling medical condition, and one of the major causes is disc degeneration. Total disc replacements are intended to treat back pain by restoring disc height and re-establishing functional motion and stability at the index level. The objective of this study was to determine the effect on range of motion (ROM) and stiffness after implantation of the ProDisc®-L device in comparison to the intact state. Twelve L5–S1 lumbar spine segments were tested in flexion/extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation with axial compressive loads of 600 N and 1,200 N. Specimens were tested in the intact state and after implantation with the ProDisc®-L device. ROM was not significantly different in the implanted spines when compared to their intact state in flexion/extension and axial rotation but increased in lateral bending. Increased compressive load did not affect ROM in flexion/extension or axial rotation but did result in decreased ROM in lateral bending and increased stiffness in both intact and implanted spine segments. The ProDisc®-L successfully restored or maintained normal spine segment motion.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of Synthes Spine, LP for this study and the Kirby and Clark Foundations for their continued support. This investigation was conducted in a facility constructed with support from Research Facilities Improvement Program Grant no. C06-RR12538-01 from the National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health.

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Correspondence to Kathleen N. Meyers.

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Meyers, K.N., Campbell, D.A., Lipman, J.D. et al. Dynamics of an Intervertebral Disc Prosthesis in Human Cadaveric Spines. HSS Jrnl 3, 164–168 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11420-007-9049-0

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Key words

  • total disc replacement
  • biomechanics
  • lumbar spine
  • ProDisc®-L