Object. The authors compared the biomechanical performance of the human cadaveric spine implanted with a metallic ball-and-cup artificial disc at L4–5 with the spine's intact state and after anterior discectomy.
Methods. Seven human L2—S1 cadaveric spines were mounted on a biomechanical testing frame. Pure moments of 0, 1.5, 3.0, 4.5, and 6.0 Nm were applied to the spine at L-2 in six degrees of motion (flexion, extension, right and left lateral bending, and right and left axial rotation). The spines were tested in the intact state as well as after anterior L4–5 discectomy. The Maverick disc was implanted in the discectomy defect, and load testing was repeated.
The artificial disc created greater rigidity for the spine than was present after discectomy, and the spine performed biomechanically in a manner comparable with the intact state.
Conclusions. The results indicate that in an in vitro setting, this model of artificial disc stabilizes the spine after discectomy, restoring motion comparable with that of the intact state.