With the introduction of total disc replacement (TDR) surgery, surgeons can offer their patients an alternative to spinal fusion surgery for the treatment of degenerative disc disease (DDD) in the lumbar spine, or the treatment of symptomatic cervical disc disease (SCDD) in the cervical spine. The TDR procedure is intended to relieve pain and preserve motion in the spine.
During both TDR surgery and spinal fusion surgery, the pain-generating disc is removed and the disc height is restored. During a fusion surgery, the spinal segment is stabilized with an implant and plate and/or rods and screws. Bone graft may be used to promote osseous fusion of the vertebrae. Conversely, during a TDR surgery, an implant that allows the potential for motion is inserted into the disc space.