Disc Replacement
& Facet Replacement

Motion-Preserving Spine Surgery

If you have tried conservative therapies and are now facing spine surgery, your priority is to preserve motion.

The spine is a mobile organ, and a fusion is an irreversible interference in the mechanics of the spine. Even though a fusion is sometimes required, our spine specialists view it as a “last line of defence”, only for cases where a new motion-preserving solution cannot be offered.

Both Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR) and Total Lumbar Facet Replacement are surgeries designed to reduce pain and restore healthy movement to a damaged spine.

Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR)

Your spinal discs are positioned between each bony vertebra in your spine. Their job is to hold the vertebra together, absorb shock, and act as joints allowing multi-directional controlled movement in your spine.

The Way Nature Intended

A traditional spine fusion treats pain by fixing one vertebra to the next and eliminating movement. New-Generation ADR treats pain by restoring natural height and providing controlled movement for a healthy lifestyle.

How does Disc Replacement Work?

Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR) is sometimes called Total Disc Replacement (TDR). In this surgical procedure, the damaged spinal disc in the neck or lower back is completely removed and replaced with an artificial disc, restoring healthy height and movement. This procedure is commonly performed via the anterior approach, through the abdominal cavity, and sometimes through the lateral approach. This is less traumatic for the patient compared to the posterior approach (through the back), which is how many spinal fusions are performed.

ADR was pioneered in Germany in the 1980’s. Since then many new models of ADR implant have been developed, becoming more advanced as new materials and technologies become available. For suitable candidates, ADR surgery can offer everything a fusion can, such as decompression of nerves, restoration of healthy height, and at the same time ALSO restore natural unrestricted mobility. This is especially important for younger patients in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, active patients who enjoy sports and outdoor activities, or anyone wanting to enjoy a healthy lifestyle without compromise.

ADR can also be offered at the levels next to a previous fusion, if the fusion has caused new damage. This is superior to an extension of the fusion, because it best mitigates post-fusion adjacent segment disease, which is the transfer of stress to other parts of the spine.

Latest Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR) Technologies

At present there are two advanced ADR implants in the market which can best replicate the movement of a natural disc. Both new-generation devices offer 6 degrees of movement, including compression, with resistance increasing towards the end of every motion. This helps protect the facet joints and allows for safer multi-level use in suitable patients.

Artificial Disc Replacement

Animation showing how a New-Generation Disc Implant is designed and how it works.
Animation of Cervical Disc Replacement with this disc implant, also available for the lower back.

Artificial Disc Replacement

Animation showing how another New-Generation Disc Implant is designed and how it works.
Animation of Lumbar Disc Replacement with this spinal disc implant, also available for the neck.

Artificial Disc Replacement in Germany

Our German Spine Specialists are widely regarded as world leaders in disc replacement surgery, having performed this procedure thousands of times in the last decade. Many patients travel from overseas places like the USA, Canada, The Middle East, ASIA, Australia and New Zealand to seek their expertise, and they’re attracted by competitive fixed-price packages including all medical and rehabilitation costs. They also benefit from recovering in private hospitals experienced with International patients and learning to move confidently again at Europe’s largest rehab centre.

Another reason patients choose Germany for ADR surgery is that they only use the very latest models of Disc implant. New generation models can almost perfectly replicate the movement of a natural disc, including motion in 6-directions and shock absorption. Our surgeons will select the best new-generation ADR implant to match your unique case.

Artificial Disc Replacement in Thailand

Our leading spine surgeons in Thailand offer cervical disc replacement to some of the 2 Million medical travellers who visit for elective surgery every year. These patients are seeking advanced surgeries in Bangkok's Private International Hospitals at a more affordable price-point, sometimes 50-70% less than in their home country.

High levels of funding from global hospital groups and the Thailand Government ensure patients benefit from highly trained surgeons, many with multiple overseas fellowships from countries like Japan, the USA and the UK.

The latest equipment and technologies (such as advanced robotic spine surgery) are also available, and the attentive Thai nurses are renowned for their caring nature. Many overseas patients comment that the leading hospitals in Thailand more closely resemble luxury hotels, and are more comfortable than their hospitals at home.

Total Lumbar Facet Replacement

You have two facet joints situated at every level of your spine. Their function is to guide and limit movement of the spinal discs. For example, in the lumbar spine the facet joints protect you from excessive shear, flexion and rotation forces. Sometimes through traumatic injury or wear-and-tear they can become damaged and painful. Because facet joints and spinal discs support one another, we often find that facet joints become stressed and damaged at the same level where there is a damaged and dysfunctional spinal disc.

How does Facet Joint Replacement Work?

Total Lumbar Facet Replacement is a new ground-breaking procedure available from leading spine surgeons. It involves the removal of your damaged facet joints via the posterior approach (from the back) and replacing them with a set of artificial facet joints, designed to restore your vertebra to the safe and correct position, while removing pain and retaining healthy movement.

Where appropriate this is superior to a spinal fusion and can be offered as a substitute to patients wanting a motion-preserving solution, who are not suitable for Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR). This may be for various reasons such as abdominal scarring, vertebral slippage, or severely damaged facet joints.

Total Facet Replacement Technologies

TV Interview with Ron Sacher discussing the TOPS Facet Replacement System and how it works. The new NEXUS system is smaller and offers similar benefits.
Animation showing TOPS System benefits compared to normal spine fusion. The new NEXUS system is smaller and offers similar benefits.

Facet Joint Replacement in Germany

Our German Spine Specialists are experienced and trained to offer the TOPS and NEXUX Total Lumbar Facet Replacement Systems. They are involved in ongoing development of these systems, and teaching this procedure to other surgeons around the world. The TOPS System has been proven more effective than a spinal fusion from long term 7-year follow up studies. This is a promising area of development in modern spine surgery.
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