Long-term clinical outcome of the Charité III total lumbar disc replacement

J Kitzen*, M G M Schotanus, S M J van Kuijk, E M C Jutten, N P Kort, L W van Rhijn, P C Willems

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Web of Science)


PURPOSE: To compare the long-term clinical results and complications of two revision strategies for patients with failed total disc replacements (TDRs).

METHODS: In 19 patients, the TDR was removed and the intervertebral defect was filled with a femoral head bone strut graft. In addition, instrumented posterolateral fusion was performed (removal group). In 36 patients, only a posterolateral instrumented fusion was performed (fusion group). Visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were completed pre- and post-revision surgery. Intra- and post-operative complications of both revision strategies were assessed.

RESULTS: The median follow-up was 12.3 years (range 5.3-24.3). In both the removal and fusion group, a similar (p = 0.515 and p = 0419, respectively) but significant decrease in VAS- (p = 0.001 and p = 0.001, respectively) and ODI-score (p = 0.033 and p = 0.013, respectively) at post-revision surgery compared to pre-revision surgery was seen. A clinically relevant improvement in VAS- and ODI-score was found in 62.5% and 43.8% in the removal group and in 43.5% and 39.1% in the fusion group (p = 0.242 and p = 0.773, respectively). Removal of the TDR was associated with substantial intra-operative complications such as major vessel bleeding and ureter lesion. The percentage of late reoperations for complications such as pseudarthrosis was comparable for both revision strategies.

CONCLUSIONS: Revision of a failed TDR is clinically beneficial in about half of the patients. No clear benefits for additional TDR removal as compared to posterolateral instrumented fusion alone could be identified. Particularly, when considering the substantial risks and complications, great caution is warranted with removal of the TDR. These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1527-1535
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Lumbar spine
  • Clinical follow-up
  • Spine arthroplasty
  • Risk factors

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