Yonsei Med J.  2021 Mar;62(3):240-248. 10.3349/ymj.2021.62.3.240.

Revision Surgery for a Failed Artificial Disc

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, International St. Mary's Hospital, Catholic Kwandong University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea
  • 2Department of Neurosurgery, Spine and Spinal Cord Institute, Gangnam Severance Spine Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Neurosurgery, Spine and Spinal Cord Institute, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


This study aimed to present our experience with failures in C-TDR and revision surgery outcomes.
Materials and Methods
We retrospectively examined patients who underwent revision surgery due to the failure of C-TDR between May 2005 to March 2019. Thirteen patients (8 males and 5 females) were included in this study. The mean age was 46.1 years (range: 22–61 years), and the average follow-up period was 19.5 months (range: 12–64 months). The outcome measures of pre- and post-operative neck and arm pain using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and functional impairment were assessed using a modified Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) scale and the Neck Disability Index (NDI).
The main complaints of patients were posterior neck pain (77%), radiculopathy (62%), and/or myelopathy (62%). The causes of failure of C-TDR were improper indications for the procedure, osteolysis and mobile implant use, inappropriate techniques, and postoperative infection. The most common surgical level was C5–6, followed by C4–5. After revision surgery, the neck and arm pain VAS (preoperative vs. postoperative: 5.46 vs. 1.31; 4.86 vs. 1.08), a modified JOA scale (14.46 vs. 16.69), and the NDI (29.77 vs. 9.31) scores were much improved.
C-TDR is good surgical option. However, it is very important to adhere to strict surgical indications and contraindications to avoid failure of C-TDR. The results of reoperations were good regardless of the approach. Therefore, various reoperation options could be considered in patients with failed C-TDR.


Artificial disc replacement; cervical; diskectomy; fusion; revision surgery
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