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Does core mobility of lumbar total disc arthroplasty influence sagittal and frontal intervertebral displacement? Radiologic comparison with fixed-core prosthesis

Joël Delécrin, MD,1 Jérôme Allain, MD,2 Jacques Beaurain, MD,3 Jean-Paul Steib, MD,4 Hervé Chataigner, MD,5 Lucie Aubourg, PhD,6 Jean Huppert, MD,7 Marc Ameil, MD,8 Jean-Michel Nguyen, MD, PhD9

1University Hospital – Orthopedic, CHU Hôtel Dieu, Nantes, France 2University Hospital – Orthopedic, Paris Creteil, France 3University Hospital – Neurosurgery, Dijon, France 4University Hospital – Spine, Strasbourg, France 5Private Hospital – Orthopaedic, Besancon, France 6Employee, LDR Compagny, Troyes, France 7Private Hospital – Neurosurgery, Saint Etienne, France 8Private Hospital – Orthopaedic, Reims, France 9University Hospital – Biostatistic, Nantes, France



An artificial disc prosthesis is thought to restore segmental motion in the lumbar spine. However, it is reported that disc prosthesis can increase the intervertebral translation (VT). The concept of the mobile-core prosthesis is to mimic the kinematic effects of the migration of the natural nucleus and therefore core mobility should minimize the VT. This study explored the hypothesis that core translation should influence VT and that a mobile core prosthesis may facilitate physiological motion.


Vertebral translation (measured with a new method presented here), core translation, range of motion (ROM), and distribution of flexion-extension were measured on flexion-extension, neutral standing, and lateral bending films in 89 patients (63 mobile-core [M]; 33 fixed-core [F]).


At L4-5 levels the VT with M was lower than with F and similar to the VT of untreated levels. At L5-S1 levels the VT with M was lower than with F but was significantly different compared to untreated levels. At M levels a strong correlation was found between VT and core translation; the VT decreases as the core translation increases. At F levels the VT increases as the ROM increases. No significant difference was found between the ROM of untreated levels and levels implanted with either M or F. Regarding the mobility distribution with M and F we observed a deficit in extension at L5-S1 levels and a similar distribution at L4-5 levels compared to untreated levels.


The intervertebral mobility was different between M and F. The M at L4-5 levels succeeded to replicate mobility similar to L4-5 untreated levels. The M at L5-S1 succeeded in ROM, but failed regarding VT and mobility distribution. Nevertheless M minimized VT at L5-S1 levels. The F increased VT at both L4-5 and L5-S1.

Clinical Relevance

This study validates the concept that the core translation of an artificial lumbar disc prosthesis minimizes the VT.

Lumbar segmental motion, Mobile-core prosthesis, Fixed-core prosthesis, Translation measurement method
Volume 3 Issue 3