Description: This book covers the development and creation of an artificial intervertebral disc.
Purpose: The purpose is to review a 15-year experience with an artificial disc for the lumbar spine. This worthy objective is met by the authors.
Audience: The book is written mainly for spine surgeons. The editors, Karin Buttner-Janz, head of the orthopedic clinic at Vivantes Klinikum Hellersdorf in Berlin, Stephen Hochschuler of the Texas Back Institute, and Paul C. McAfee of the Scoliosis and Spine Center in Towson, Maryland, are all highly qualified spine surgeons.
Features: This small book of 191 pages is divided into 17 chapters. Historical perspective, functional anatomy, and biomechanics of total disc replacement are covered in detail. The rest of the book is devoted to the Link SB Charite Disc Replacement. An important chapter covers the indications and contraindications for use of the disc. Detailed descriptions of preoperative planning, surgical approach, and postoperative rehabilitation are presented. Also, early U.S. and mid-term and long-term (10-year) European results are discussed in some detail. The useful illustrations and photographs are of very good quality. The references are current and subject-specific.
Assessment: We are entering the next evolutionary stage in managing low back disorders. Spinal fusion with or without instrumentation for the management of some patients with back pain may be replaced by a prosthesis, which preserves stability and near-normal motion. It appears that these new surgical techniques are best suited as a last resort for patients with isolated disc pathology with local symptoms and an intact posterior spinal column. The evolution from spine fusion to total disc replacement is likely to follow the same path as hip fusion to total hip replacement. I strongly recommend this pioneer work to all spine surgeons and other professionals who work on the spine.