A Lumbar Disc Replacement (LDR) is a surgical procedure in which one or more lumbar discs are replaced with a moving prosthetic device.
The procedure is usually performed for low back pain with or without nerve pain. The operation involves approaching the spine through an incision in the abdomen. The abdominal contents are moved to the side and the spine is approached without disrupting them. The affected disc space is removed from the spine and replaced with a mobile prosthetic.
Patients who are suffering from back with or without leg pain are potential candidates for the LDR procedure. This pain is generally caused by natural degeneration of the disc space or by injury to a disc. LDR surgery is usually considered only after extensive non-operative therapies have failed. Conditions such as scoliosis, fracture, spondylolisthesis and severe disc degeneration are generally considered contraindications to LDR, and a fusion can generally be performed in those cases.