Historical review of cervical arthroplasty

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Early attempts at spinal arthroplasty in the 1950s yielded limited success. A revival of this procedure occurred in the 1980s and became a realistic treatment option in the 1990s. Both lumbar and cervical arthroplasties have been introduced in the US since 2000 for randomized, prospective studies in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigational device exemption provisions. In June 2004 the first lumbar arthroplasty device was approved by the FDA for use in the US. It is likely that cervical arthroplasty will soon follow and may be available for widespread use as early as 2006. In this paper the authors review the historical development of cervical arthroplasty.

Abbreviations used in this paper:ACDF = anterior cervical discectomy and fusion; DDD = degenerative disc disease; FDA = Food and Drug Administration; PCM = porous coated motion; PLL = posterior longitudinal ligament; UHMWPE = ultra–high molecular weight polyethylene.

Early attempts at spinal arthroplasty in the 1950s yielded limited success. A revival of this procedure occurred in the 1980s and became a realistic treatment option in the 1990s. Both lumbar and cervical arthroplasties have been introduced in the US since 2000 for randomized, prospective studies in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigational device exemption provisions. In June 2004 the first lumbar arthroplasty device was approved by the FDA for use in the US. It is likely that cervical arthroplasty will soon follow and may be available for widespread use as early as 2006. In this paper the authors review the historical development of cervical arthroplasty.

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Address reprint requests to: Daniel H. Kim, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University Medical Center, Room R-201, Edwards Building, 300 Pasteur Drive, Stanford, California 94305-5327. email: neurokim@stanford.edu.

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