An artificial disc (also known as a disc replacement, disc prosthetic device or spine operation device) is advised to be implanted into the spine to imitate the functions of a standard disc (carry the load and allow motion).
There are several art ificial disc styles classified into general types:
Total disc replacement and disc nucleus replacement. As the names imply, with a total disc replacement, all or most of the disc tissue is removed and a replacement device is implanted into the space between the vertebra.
With a disc nucleus replacement, only the center of the disc (the nucleus) is removed and replaced with an implant.
The outer a part of the disc (the annulus) isn’t removed.
Artificial discs are sometimes a product of metal or plastic-like (biopolymer) materials or a combination of the two. These materials are employed in the body for several years. Total disc replacements have been used in Europe since the late 1980s. The most ordinarily used total disc replacement styles have 2 plates. One attaches to the vertebrae on top of the disc being replaced and also the different to the vertebrae below. Some devices have a soft, compressible plastic-like piece between these plates. The devices allow motion by smooth, usually curved, surfaces sliding across each other.

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