Research Sites

The valid research for the future is on the inner side, on the spiritual side. There are many places to research spine conditions on the Web. However, few are as deep yet broad in content as these two sites: National Library of Medicine & PubMed offer an excellent and current library of articles: These sites are “Open Directory Projects” and are organized by volunteers, and offer a huge index of global sites, ranging from associations to journals to research organizations: Glossaries There are many spinal glossaries on the Internet. This is one of the better ones: This glossary is focused primarily on scoliosis conditions:

Demos and Tutorials

Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one. A picture is worth a thousand words! These sites have excellent interactive illustrations to help you understand spinal anatomy and procedures. Some of the best tutorials available are found on the J & J/Depuy Spine site: Fifteen interactive views of the spine anatomy, including ADR: One of the best sites to view animation of spinal procedures: Now updated to include anatomy, conditions and surgical procedures:

Manufacturer Sites

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. These companies manufacture various disc replacement technologies which fall into four classes of artificial discs: nucleus, total lumbar disc, partial lumbar disc or total cervical disc. Most companies focus on one class, but a few are developing two or more at this time. Biomet - CerviTech - No web site found Cryolife - Disc Augmentation Technologies - No web site found Flexicore Disc - Link (Charite'): (DePuy Spine, Inc., a J & J company) - Medtronic/Spinal Dynamics - Pearsalls Implants - Raymedica/Medtronic - SpineCor - SpineWave - No web site found (just a NZ site). Stryker - Synthes/Surgical Dynamics - Zimmer -

Artificial Disc Designs

Overviews, Investment Reports and Market Assessments There are various disc replacement designs available today, most in FDA trial. A good overview of artificial discs with pictures is found at: These newsletters offer info on 13 prominent designs for lumbar and cervical replacement with useful anecdotal insights: vFinance Investments summarizes key players in the disc replacement market and has included brief company profiles. This is mainly financial information for investment purposes: This report is by Viscogliosi Brothers entitled, Beyond Total Disc, The Future of Spine Surgery, dated May 2004. It is a richly detailed report (300 pages) complete with overviews from top surgeon visionaries, assessments of disc replacement technologies, including biologics; market sizing, companies, etc. Note: Viscogliosi Brothers was partly responsible for raising financing to fund the operations of Spine Solutions, Inc. to market the ProDisc.

Professional Articles

Second Q & A Column is Here

Our latest Q & A column features Dr. Willem Zeegers, a pioneer in the field of arthroplasty and one of the most experienced spine doctors in world. We sifted through some of the tricky questions the patient community had on bone density testing.

View Dr. Zeegers Q & A

Charite Surgical Paper from Depuy/JnJ

This authoritative paper directly from the manufacturer of the Charite artificial disc offers excellent technical insights into the ADR procedure. Though intended for medical professionals, it's a solid technical primer for patients, and some say a "must read."

View Charite Paper

First Q&A with ADR Doctors Introduced

Our inaugural column focuses on some vexing questions from our global community: ADR patient selection criteria, differences among disc designs, subsequent anterior lumbar procedures, tricky discography results, ADR and adjacent level degeneration. Our thanks to the professionals at TBI!

View Texas Back Institute Column

Artificial Disc Replacement Paper Debuts

Dr. John Regan, MD is Director of the Cedars-Sinai Institute for Spinal Disorders. Prior to joining Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Regan served as a principal at the Texas Back Institute. He is internationally recognized as one of the leading experts in minimally invasive spine surgery. He was a principal investigator for the clinical trial of the SB Charite' III ADR.

We are honored to offer readers the first available copy of "Lumbar Total Disc Replacement: Charité Artificial Disc." This paper provides technical insights into the disc replacement procedure and is geared towards very well-informed patients considering artificial disc replacement, as well as medical professionals new to ADR.

View Dr. Regans Paper

Artificial Disc Study Completed

Check out the Sept. 04 article written by top U.S. doctors on the Charite’ intervertebral disc study. A special thanks to the authors, including doctors: Geisler, Blumenthal, Guyer, McAfee, Regan, Johnson and Mullin. This article is featured in the Sept. 04 issue of Journal of Neurosurgery. Click here to render the PDF doc.


Pre-Op Considerations

Judgment Comes from Experience, Experience Comes from Lack of Judgment

Many risks are inherent in any spinal procedure. ADR risks include infection (internal and external), excessive bleeding, reactions to anesthesia, nerve damage and related spinal complications such as heterotopic ossification. Unfortuntately, there is little published in the area of post-op complications, which is tragic if you are a patient assessing the risks of a spinal procedure. Thus, the lack of references cited below.

The following post-op complications are loosely ranked in terms of actual occurrence (after an artificial disc replacement procedure):


There are other complications that can and do occur post operatively. Additional post op risks include thrombophlebitis, lung problems, implant migration (including subsidence), spinal cord injury, transitional syndrome and pseudoarthrosis. A succinct summary article describing these conditions is found at:

If you are considering ADR as a surgical option, research these conditions to help you converse intelligently with your doctor(s). Visit Interactive Tutorials or Spine Research Sites to learn more.

Post-Op Recovery

Post-Op Recovery Chance Favors the Prepared Mind At this time, there are few papers or resources available to help patients prepare for ADR recovery. The best advice is to work very closely with your doctor (and staff) and prepare for each and every visit. As products are granted FDA approval, we expect to see more educational materials and papers made available to patients. Pain management after ADR is a real challenge for most patients. Since many people are on strong pain killers before surgery, it is difficult to make a transition to a chemical-free life. These complex issues are tough to sort out, but are handled nicely on a personal level on the interactive forums. However, these resources are helpful to help you frame the issues you should discuss with your doctor or other medical professionals. Recovering From ADR Surgery - One Patient’s Holistic Perspective  The following articles apply to recovering from spinal surgeries (though not specifically from ADR):

ADR News

The Big News!

The year of 2004 was a big year for artificial disc replacement, as final approval of the Charite artificial disc was granted in October. This milestone press release is here.

News Across the U.S.

On a daily basis, we sift through thousands of articles, and select the most interesting or relevant news and post it to our article library within our discussion board. Get the latest news here, occasionally peppered with comments from the patient community.

Thank you WCVB TV !

In case you missed the ADR news segment hosted by Dr. Timothy Johnson, check out the news which delves into the Charite' artificial disc technology. It features Dr. Robert Banco, a Boston ADR surgeon who healed the founder of this web site! Click here to see the article and short video.

FDA Trials

He That Invents Augments the Power of a Man and the Well-Being of Mankind. This link has many of the ongoing artificial disc replacement trials listed here: A general government site is here (but search for artificial disc replacement of various spinal terms): FEATURED ARTICLE Check out the latest (Sept. 04) and most comprehensive paper yet written by top U.S. doctors on the Charite artificial disc replacement study. A special thanks to the authors, including doctors: Geisler, Blumenthal, Guyer, McAfee, Regan, Johnson and Mullin. Click here to render the PDF doc. This article is featured in the Sept. 04 issue of Journal of Neurosurgery.