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Becker’s Spine Review Interview: Dr. Haines on Disc Replacement Potential to Supersede Spinal Fusions

Authored by Becker's Becker's Spine Review, Dr. Colin Haines, MD, FACS. March 1, 2021

As seen in Becker’s Spine Review.

On the back of two-year data comparing the M6-C cervical disc with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion published in The Spine Journal, eight surgeons discuss the future of total disc replacement in spine:

“Becker’s Asks”
Question: How do you see disc replacement developing in the next five to 10 years?

Colin Haines, MD. Spine Surgeon, Virginia Spine Institute (Reston, Va.): I firmly believe that motion-preserving spinal implants, most notably including cervical and lumbar disc replacements, will continue to grow over the next few years. Although the indications for disc replacement are more specific than spinal fusions, more than half of my cervical surgeries are disc replacements. Because the literature on cervical disc replacement is so clear, I do see more potential for growth and advancement in lumbar disc replacement. As the devices improve and data emerge on their longevity, lumbar artificial disc replacement surgery will become more common. However, I don’t think it will ever eliminate spinal fusion surgery. Instability, sagittal balance mismatch, and scoliosis will be better addressed with stability, which is what spinal fusions achieve. Regardless, the future brings great promise for artificial disc replacement with the continued evolution of this innovative technology.