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Clinical performance of an elastomeric lumbar disc replacement: Minimum 12 months follow-up

Luiz Pimenta, MD,1 Raul Springmuller, MD,2 Casey K. Lee, MD,3 Leonardo Oliveira, BSc,1 Sandra E. Roth, MSc,4 William F. Ogilvie, BSc4

1Santa Rita Hospital, Sao Paulo, Brazil 2Clinica Renaca, Renaca, Chile 3Roseland, NJ 4Whippany, NJ



Elastomeric disc replacements have been developed to restore normal shock absorption and physiologic centers of rotation to the degenerated disc. The Physio-L Artificial Lumbar Disc is an elastomeric disc which uses a compliant polycarbonate-polyurethane core with enhanced endurance properties. The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the Physio-L through a 12-month follow-up period in a prospective, nonrandomized clinical trial.


Twelve patients who met the inclusion/exclusion criteria were enrolled in the study. Eight patients received a single implant (L5-S1) and 4 received a 2-level implantation (L4-5 and L5-S1). Patients were assessed preoperatively and postoperatively at 6 weeks and 3, 6, and 12 months. Primary outcomes included the VAS, ODI, a radiographic analysis of implant condition, incidence of major complications, and reoperations. Secondary outcomes included SF-36, ROM at index and adjacent levels and disc height.


All patients completed the 12-month follow-up evaluations. Through 12 months, the Physio-L devices have remained intact with no evidence of subsidence, migration, or expulsion. VAS low-back pain and ODI scores improved significantly at all follow-up periods compared to preoperative scores. The range of motion of 13.3° ± 5.5° at the index level was considered normal. Overall, patients were satisfied with an average score of 83.5 ± 26.8 mm. When comparing the device to other artificial discs, the current device showed a clinically relevant improvement in both ODI and VAS scores at all follow-up time points. Statistically significant improvements in both scores were observed at 12 months (P < .05).


The Physio-L is safe and efficacious, as demonstrated by improved pain relief and functional recovery without any implant failures, significant device related complications, or adverse incidents. The clinical results for VAS and ODI were superior to other marketed artificial lumbar discs such as the Charité and ProDisc-L at the same follow-up timeframes.

Lumbar, total disc replacement, Spinal arthroplasty, Prospective clinical trial
Volume 4 Issue 1