2023 Recap: 5 Important Artificial Disc Replacement Updates

Five year study finds artificial disc replacement is superior to anterior cervical discectomy fusion (ACDF)

A recent study completed in late 2023 has found that the NuVasive Simplify Cervical Disc had superior outcomes compared to the anterior cervical discectomy fusion (ACDF) control group after five years. The study presented by Globus Medical, Inc. at the North American Spine Society (NASS) 38th Annual Meeting found patients who received the Simplify Cervical Disc had significantly lower Neck Disability Index (NDI) and Visual Analog Scale (VAS) scores — indicating a reduction in pain and improvement in overall function.

Mobi-C® Cervical Disc being tested with simultaneous fusion in single surgery

ZimVie Inc., the company behind the popular Mobi-C® Artificial Disc, has announced the FDA has approved an Investigational Device Exemption for their new hybrid approach to cervical disc replacement. The Mobi-C implant has been used more than 200,000 times in cervical (neck) disc replacement surgeries as either a single implant or as a pair at adjacent spinal disc levels.

This new clinical study will test the effectiveness of a hybrid approach to disc replacement where the Mobi-C Artificial Disc will be used at one level, while a traditional fusion is completed at the adjacent level — all in a single surgery. The hybrid approach opens more opportunities for patients to receive lasting pain relief from a single surgical intervention if disc replacement is not possible at both levels.

Artificial disc market expected to grow from $600 million to $1.3 billion by 2030

According to Vantage Market Research, the global market for artificial disc replacement is expected to grow by 12% each year, reaching an estimated value of $1.3 billion by 2030. In addition to an aging population and a higher prevalence of health disorders, the growth indicates a preference among patients to seek motion preserving surgeries like that offered by artificial disc replacement. 

Vantage Market Research also noted that advancement in medical technology, including minimally invasive techniques, robotic-assisted surgery, and improvements in the design and material science of implant, will have considerable impact on the growth of the industry. 

Prodisc® artificial disc reaches 250,000 implantations worldwide

In October, Centinel Spine, LLC, the company behind the prodisc© total disc replacement device, announced that more than 250,000 prodisc devices have been implanted worldwide. The first prodisc artificial disc was implanted over 30 years ago at Clinique du Parc in Montpellier, France in 1990.

The prodisc is currently available in six variations, four for cervical (neck) applications and two for lumbar (lower back).

Aetna® begins coverage of lumbar disc replacement, joining other major carriers

In March 2023, Aetna announced they will begin covering one-level lumbar total disc replacement. Aetna, one of the nation’s largest commercial insurers had previously considered one-level lumbar disc replacement to be “experimental and investigational” and thus not covered. 

With the addition of Aetna, now all major commercial payors in the U.S. cover one-level lumbar disc replacement.

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