Operative management of lumbar degenerative disc disease

Yu Chao Lee, Mario Giuseppe Tedesco Zotti*, Orso Lorenzo Osti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)
143 Downloads (Pure)


Lumbar degenerative disc disease is extremely common. Current evidence supports surgery in carefully selected patients who have failed non-operative treatment and do not exhibit any substantial psychosocial overlay. Fusion surgery employing the correct grafting and stabilization techniques has long-term results demonstrating successful clinical outcomes. However, the best approach for fusion remains debatable. There is some evidence supporting the more complex, technically demanding and higher risk interbody fusion techniques for the younger, active patients or patients with a higher risk of non-union. Lumbar disc arthroplasty and hybrid techniques are still relatively novel procedures despite promising short-term and mid-term outcomes. Long-term studies demonstrating superiority over fusion are required before these techniques may be recommended to replace fusion as the gold standard. Novel stem cell approaches combined with tissue engineering therapies continue to be developed in expectation of improving clinical outcomes. Results with appropriate follow-up are not yet available to indicate if such techniques are safe, cost-effective and reliable in the long-term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-819
Number of pages19
JournalAsian Spine Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


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