Historically, treatment options for degenerative disc disease (DDD) have included doing nothing, physical therapy, opioids for pain management, spinal fusion, and total disc replacement.
Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment Options
Total disc replacement and spinal fusion have been considered the gold standard treatments for DDD however they both tend to be maximally invasive surgical options with long recovery times. Spinal Stabilization Technologies™ introduces a lesser invasive alternative treatment: The PerQdisc™ Nucleus Replacement System. A minimally invasive surgical option that replaces the physical space of the nucleus, recreates the physiologic motion, and redistributes the weight bearing forces in an anatomical fashion
State-of-the-Art Surgical Treatments
There are two current state-of-the-art surgical treatments for degenerative disc disease which have been considered the gold standard.
Fusion involves a relatively wide area of exposure down to the target level of the spine. For fusion to be successful, the entire disk must be removed. This puts the operative field in closer proximity to the dura, contralateral exiting nerve and large nearby vascular structures such as the aorta and inferior vena cava. Extensive tissue resection targets the annulus fibrosus, the nucleus pulposus and the cartilaginous endplates. The task is accomplished with hammers, chisels and large incisions. The large instruments and high velocity maneuvers necessary to make this happen, are far more disruptive than minimally invasive techniques of the PerQdisc™, and have postoperative complications reflective of that fact.
A nucleus replacement can be a more delicate procedure with less tissue disruption when compared to more invasive options. The PerQdisc utilizes a 6mm cannula to access the diseased nucleus pulposus (inner portion of the spinal disc) through the annulus fibrosus (outer layer of the disc). This method allows for a very focused approach with minimal tissue disruption (including the annulus fibrosus and vertebral endplates). The goal of lesser invasive therapies, is the reduction of intraoperative complications (such as blood loss and tissue injury) and postoperative infection, allowing for faster recovery times and a return to normal activities.