Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery: New Study Shows Long Term Benefits

In a previous post, we took a look into Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR), a newer surgical approach becoming more popular as an alternative to the traditional spinal fusions for patients with degenerative disc disease. We discussed some of the benefits and advantages of ADR and currently, a new study has been released that will show you some outcomes of patients that had Cervical Disc Replacement (CDR) 30 years ago.

In this study, 21 follow-ups were done on patients who underwent cervical artificial disc replacements over 30 years ago between the years of 1980 and 1985 at Changzheng Hospital in China. At the time of their surgeries, these patients were young averaging 30 years of age. Here is what the study found:

• All 21 patients reported improvement from their preoperative symptoms.
• The last follow up showed 73 percent of the segments maintained motion preservation.
• None of the patients reported symptomatic adjacent segment degeneration at 30 years.
• 90 percent of the patients presented heterotopic ossification, but none underwent reoperation correlated with the heterotopic ossification.
• There were not any device-related adverse events.

Studies have shown that with the significant advancement in artificial disc replacement technology, ADR is just as effective as fusions in the short term and the above study now shows that it has the potential to be beneficial in the long term as well.

In addition to this procedure’s benefits, another study also shows that when comparing anterior cervical discectomy and fusion with the cervical disc replacement, the disc replacement procedure proves to be more cost-effective to society and even more cost-effective if the procedure is performed in an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) instead of a hospital.

The ADR procedure offers patients the opportunity to preserve and maintain the natural motion of their spine, return faster to normal activities within 2-3 weeks, and return to full activities as soon as the wound heals. Although further research has to be done, ADR can also potentially prevent adjacent segment degeneration that is common among spinal fusion patients.


• Do you have chronic back pain?
• Are you experiencing significant neck or back pain with radicular shooting pain?
• Do you still have neck or back pain after trying chiropractic, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, cold/heat therapy, or pain management?
• Is your neck or back pain affecting your quality of life or ability to function?
• Has a doctor suggested you may need a spinal fusion?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, please schedule an appointment with our office immediately to see if you are a candidate. Even if you are not a candidate for ADR, our professionals will work with you to seek the best alternative options for you.

Dr. Marc A. Cohen is a leader in minimally invasive and endoscopic laser spine surgery and one of the only spine surgeons in the nation performing endoscopic laser surgery for all spine-related cervical and lumbar procedures, including Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery.

Please contact the Spine Institute at 973-538-4444 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Marc Cohen at one of our New Jersey locations.