Requirements for an artificial interventebral disc

M.F. Eijkelkamp*, C.C. van Donkelaar, A.G. Veldhuizen, J.R. van Horn, J.M. Huyghe, G.J. Verkerke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Intervertebral disc degeneration is an important social and economic problem. Presently available artificial intervertebral discs (AIDs) are insufficient and the main surgical intervention is still spinal fusion. The objective of the present study is to present a list of requirements for the development of an AID which could replace the human lumbar intervertebral disc and restore its function. The list addresses geometry, stiffness, range of motion, strength, facet joint function, center of rotation, fixation, failsafety and implantation technique. Date are obtained from the literature, quantified where possible and checked for consistency. Existing AIDs are evaluated according to the presented list of requirements. Endplate size is a weak point in existing AIDs. These should be large and fit vertebral bodies to prevent migration. Disc height and wedge angle should be restored, unless this would overstretch ligaments. Finally, stiffness and range of motion in all directions should equal those of the healthy disc, except for the axial rotation to relieve the facet joints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-321
Number of pages11
JournalThe International journal of artificial organs
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Artificial disc
  • Biomechanics
  • Intervertebral disc
  • Spine

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