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Kinematics of total facet replacement (TFAS-TL) with total disc replacement

Leonard I. Voronov, MD, PhD,1,2 Robert M. Havey, BS,1,2 Simon G. Sjovold, MASc,3 Michael Funk, MS,3 Gerard Carandang, BS,1 Daniel Zindrick, BS,1 David M. Rosler, MS,3 Avinash G. Patwardhan, PhD1,2

1Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital, Hines, IL, USA 2Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL, USA 3Archus Orthopedics, Inc., Redmond, WA, USA



Total disc replacement (TDR) and total facet replacement (TFR) have been the focus of recent kinematics evaluations. Yet their concurrent function as a total joint replacement of the lumbar spine's 3-joint complex has not been comprehensively reported. This study evaluated the effect of a TFR specifically designed to replace the natural facets and supplement the function with the natural disc and with TDR. The ability to replace degenerated facets to complement a pre-existing or simultaneously implanted TDR may allow surgeons to completely address degenerative pathologies of the 3-joint complex of the lumbar spine. We hypothesized that TFR would reproduce the biomechanical function of the natural facets when implanted in conjunction with TDR.


Lumbar spines (L1-5, 51.3 ± 14.2 years, N = 6) were tested sequentially as follows: (1) intact, (2) after TDR implantation, and (3) after TFR implantation in conjunction with TDR, all at L3-4. Specimens were tested in flexion-extension (+ 8 Nm to − 6 Nm), lateral bending (± 6 Nm), and axial rotation (± 5 Nm). A 400 N compressive follower preload was applied during flexion-extension tests. Three-dimensional segmental motion was recorded and analyzed using analysis of variance in Systat (Systat Software Inc., Chicago, Illinois) and multiple comparisons with Bonferroni correction.


The TDR implantation (TDR + natural facets) allowed similar lateral bending (P = .66), but it generally increased flexion-extension (P = .06) and axial rotation (P < .05) range of motion (ROM) at the implanted level compared to intact. The TFR + TDR (following replacement of the natural facets with TFR) decreased ROM to levels similar to intact in lateral bending (P = .70) and axial rotation (P = .23). The TFR + TDR flexion-extension ROM was reduced in comparison to intact and TDR + natural facets (P < .05).


The TFR with TDR was able to restore stability to the lumbar segment after bilateral facetectomy, while allowing near-normal motions in all planes.

Volume 3 Issue 3