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Lubricants 2015, 3(2), 346-364;

Materials and Their Failure Mechanisms in Total Disc Replacement

Materials Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3123, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: J. Philippe Kretzer and Amir Kamali
Received: 13 February 2015 / Revised: 1 April 2015 / Accepted: 14 April 2015 / Published: 28 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tribological Performance of Artificial Joints)
Full-Text   |   PDF [360 KB, uploaded 28 April 2015]   |  


Adults suffering from lower back pain often find the cause of pain is degenerative disc disease. While non-surgical treatment is preferred, spinal fusion and total disc replacement remain surgical options for the patient. Total disc replacement is an emerging and improving treatment for degenerative discs. This paper provides a review of lumbar disc replacement for treatment of lower back pain. The mechanics and configuration of the natural disc are first discussed, followed by an introduction of treatment methods that attempt to mimic these mechanics. Total disc replacement types, materials, and failure mechanisms are discussed. Failure mechanisms primarily involve biochemical reactions to implant wear, as well as mechanical incompatibility of the device with natural spine motion. Failure mechanisms include: osteolysis, plastic deformation of polymer components, pitting, fretting, and adjacent level facet and disc degeneration. View Full-Text
Keywords: total disc replacement; failure; implants; degenerative disc disease; osteolysis; biomaterials; wear total disc replacement; failure; implants; degenerative disc disease; osteolysis; biomaterials; wear

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Reeks, J.; Liang, H. Materials and Their Failure Mechanisms in Total Disc Replacement. Lubricants 2015, 3, 346-364.

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