Parameters Influencing the Outcome After Total Disc Replacement at the Lumbosacral Junction. Part 2: Distraction and Posterior Translation Lead to Clinical Failure After a Mean Follow-Up of 5 Years

Eur Spine J. 2013 Oct;22(10):2279-87. doi: 10.1007/s00586-013-2967-2. Epub 2013 Aug 23.


Purpose: The aim of the second part of the study was to investigate the influence of parameters that lead to increased facet joint contact or capsule tensile forces (disc height, lordosis, and sagittal misalignment) on the clinical outcome after total disc replacement (TDR) at the lumbosacral junction.

Methods: A total of 40 patients of a prospective cohort study who received TDR because of degenerative disc disease or osteochondrosis L5/S1 were invited to an additional follow-up for clinical (ODI and VAS for overall, back, and leg pain) and radiographic analysis (a change in disc height, lordosis, or sagittal vertebral misalignment compared with the preoperative state). Based on the final ODI, patients were retrospectively distributed into groups N (normal: <25 %) or F (failure ≥ 25 %) for radiographic parameter comparison. A correlation analysis was performed between the clinical and radiological results.

Results: A total of 34 patients were available at a mean follow-up of 59.5 months. Both groups (N = 24; F = 10 patients) presented a significant improvement in overall pain, back pain, and ODI over time. At the final follow-up, higher clinical scores correlated with a larger disc height, increased lordosis, and posterior translation of the superior vertebra, which was also reflected by significant differences in these parameters in the group comparison.

Conclusions: Parameters associated with increased facet joint capsule tensile forces lead to an inferior clinical outcome at mid-term follow-up. When performing TDR, we therefore suggest avoiding iatrogenic posterior translation and overdistraction (and consecutive lordosis).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc Degeneration / surgery*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiology
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prosthesis Failure*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sacrum / physiology
  • Sacrum / surgery*
  • Spinal Fusion / methods
  • Tensile Strength / physiology
  • Total Disc Replacement / adverse effects*
  • Total Disc Replacement / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Zygapophyseal Joint / physiology
  • Zygapophyseal Joint / surgery