Total disc replacement (TDR) may be a solution for some patients with degenerative disc disease as an alternative to spinal fusion. Early research into artificial disc replacement began in the 1960s. Interest was renewed in the 1990s because of the complications sometimes caused by spinal fusion. Since then, research and design efforts on total disc replacement have increased significantly.
During disc replacement surgery, the doctor removes your damaged disc and replaces it with an artificial disc. The goals of total disc replacement surgery are to:
Maintain segmental spinal motion
Relieve pain and increase activity
Restore disc height and proper spine curvature
Reduce post-operative recuperation time
Reduce risk of bone graft donor site pain and pseudarthrosis, which is improper movement of a joint after healing.