What Is the Make-Up of Artificial Discs?

In general, there are several types of artificial discs:

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These artificial discs are manufactured using man-made materials, such as:

  • Metal part of the disc
  • Rubber polyethylene of a hidrosel for the soft inner core.

The combination of these materials is intended to closely reproduce the natural mechanics of the vertebral disc.

In some European countries, artificial discs have been used for about ten years. The product most commonly used is the CHARITE prosthesis.

[Editorial note (July 2009): There are two lumbar artificial discs currently available in the U.S.: the CHARITE lumbar artificial disc (which received FDA approval in October 2004) and the PRODISC-L lumbar artificial disc (which received FDA approval in August 2006). There are three cervical artificial discs available in the United States: the Prestige® Cervical Disc System (made by Medtronic and approved by the FDA in July 2007), the ProDisc™-C (made by Synthes and approved by the FDA in December 2007), and the Bryan® Cervical Disc System (also made by Medtronic and approved by the FDA in May 2009).]

Although there have been no studies to examine the long-term effectiveness of these products, short-term and intermediate results have been generally favorable.

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