Beverly Hills Orthopedist

Artificial Disk Replacement

A spine in motion should stay in motion


M6 cervical artificial disc

The M6 cervical artificial disc has just gained FDA-approval to be used in the United States! And our site (Dr. Todd Lanman and myself) has been chosen as the first site to be able to use the disc in our patients.

Click here for the full article from Spinal News: International »

Dr. Cuéllar and his partner Dr. Lanman are experts at artificial disk replacement for the relief of neck or back pain while maintaining spinal motion.

Artificial Disk Replacement Compared to Spine Fusion

Total replacement of a spinal intervertebral disk is known by several terms, such as total disk replacement (TDR), artificial disk replacement (ADR) or total disk arthroplasty (TDA). All of these terms refer to the same thing – removing a diseased intervertebral disk and replacing it with a device made mostly of various mixes of medical grade metal. Sometimes the device also contains a part which is made of specialized wear-resistant plastic referred to as high-molecular weight polyethylene – the same material used in total hip and total knee replacements.

Why do I think total disk replacement is better than fusion when appropriate?

Our spines are meant to move. Each intervertebral segment is made up of two complex shaped bones called vertebrae that form several joints with each other (see diagram below). In the back (posterior) aspect of the spine there are two joints called facet joints. In the front (anterior) aspect of the spine there exists an intervertebral disk that sits between the two vertebrae that compose the spinal segment. This disk acts as a shock absorber for your body weight, and allows motion such as forward bending (flexion), backward bending (extension), side bending and rotation.

What happens when one or more levels of the spine are fused together?

Sometimes it is necessary to fuse one or more levels of the spine together, such as when there is instability between these levels. One potential downfall to this procedure, however, is accelerating the rate of degeneration of the next (adjacent) level. Although we all have some level of spinal degeneration over time, some studies have demonstrated that fusion at one level may accelerate the rate of degeneration at the adjacent level, likely due to increased stress at that level:

Compare this to an artificial disk replacement:

More spinal motion is maintained after a disk replacement compared to after a fusion. This continued motion attempts to replicate your natural spinal anatomy and physiology. Disk replacement at one level does not result in as much increased stress at the adjacent level and therefore is less likely to accelerate the degenerative process at that adjacent level. Long-term studies are starting to demonstrate that years after surgery, disk replacement patients have lower rates of accelerated adjacent disk degeneration compared to patients that underwent fusion surgery.

(Serhan et al 2011, J Neurosurgery)

Above shows a lateral XRAY of a patient with lumbar 4-5 artificial disk replacement

Above shows a lateral and AP XRAY of a patient after a two-level cervical artificial disk replacement

Scientific evidence for the superiority of artificial disk replacement compared to fusion is mounting heavily:

Lumbar artificial disc replacement in the athlete:

Patients often ask me if they can run and perform other sports at a high level after their total disc replacement surgery. The answer is yes! Here is a great paper by Siepe and colleagues (Munich, Germany) looking at a group of athletes that underwent total disc replacement surgery. Almost all of them, with a few exceptions, were able to get back to it at a similar performance level without limitations.

Lumbar ADR in Athletes (2007)

Cost-effectiveness of artificial disk replacement: Not only is evidence mounting that in the long-term, artificial disk replacement is superior to fusion, several excellent studies have demonstrated that it is more cost-effective!

Artificial disk replacement, Artificial disc replacement, Total disk replacement, Total disc replacement, Total disk arthroplasty, Total disc arthroplasty

Request Appointment

Submit a Testimonial

Office Location
450 N. Roxbury Drive
3rd Floor
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Phone: (310) 803-9407

Office Hours

Monday: 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday: 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday: 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Office Location
2800 Biscayne Blvd
Suite 1010
Miami FL, 33137
Phone: (305) 459-3175

Office Hours (EST)

Monday: 11:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday: 11:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday: 11:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday: 11:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday: 11:30 AM - 7:00 PM

Office Location
658 West Indiantown Road, Suite 212
Jupiter, FL 33458
Phone: (305) 459-3175

Contact Us Today!

Click Here

Disclaimer: Dr. Cuellar is here to help with your medical condition. However, any medical advice dispensed on this website is not an official medical opinion because the doctor has not performed an in-person history and examination. If you need specific medical advice, please make an office appointment.

Orthopedist Website Design
Artificial Disk Replacement in Beverly Hills | Hancock Park Total Disk Replacement | Artificial Disk Replacement Hollywood

webpage api button