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Motion-preserving technologies for degenerative lumbar spine: The past, present, and future horizons

Hassan Serhan, PhD,1 Devdatt Mhatre, MS,1 Henri Defossez, PhD,1 Christopher M. Bono, MD2
1DePuy Spine, Raynham, MA 2Harvard Medical School, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA

Abstract 

Over the past few decades, remarkable advancements in the understanding of the origin of low-back pain and lumbar spinal disorders have been achieved. Spinal fusion is generally considered the “gold standard” in the treatment of low-back pain; however, fusion is also associated with accelerated degeneration of adjacent levels. Spinal arthroplasty and dynamic stabilization technologies, as well as the continuous improvement in diagnosis and surgical interventions, have opened a new era of treatment options. Recent advancements in nonfusion technologies such as motion-preservation devices and posterior dynamic stabilization may change the gold standard. These devices are designed with the intent to provide stabilization and eliminate pain while preserving motion of the functional spinal unit. The adaption of nonfusion technologies by the surgical community and payers for the treatment of degenerative spinal conditions will depend on the long-term clinical outcome of controlled randomized clinical studies. Although the development of nonfusion technology has just started and the adoption is very slow, it may be considered a viable option for motion preservation in coming years. This review article provides technical and surgical views from the past and from the present, as well as a glance at the future endeavors and challenges in instrumentation development for lumbar spinal disorders.

keywords: 
dynamic stabilization, Disc prosthesis, facet replacement, Interspinous devices, motion preservation
Volume 5 Issue 3
doi: 
10.1016/j.esas.2011.05.001