In this paper past, present, and future treatments of degenerative disc disease (DDD) of the lumbar spine are outlined in a straight forward manner. This is done to review previous knowledge of the disease, define current treatment procedures, and discuss future perspectives. An analysis of a subject of this magnitude dictates that one describes as accurate a history as possible: an anatomical/historical “tract” with emphasis on all possible deviations.
Although spinal disorders have been recognized for a long time, the view of DDD as a particular disease entity is a more recent development. In this paper, the authors attempt to outline the history of DDD of the lumbar spine in an unbiased and scientific fashion. Physiological, diagnostic, and therapeutic implications will all be addressed in this study.