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A retrospective review of prospectively collected data.To determine why artificial disk replacements (ADRs) fail by examining results of 91 patients in FDA studies performed at a single investigational device exemption (IDE) site with minimum 2-year follow-up.Patients following lumbar ADR generally achieve their 24-month follow-up results at 3 months postoperatively.Every patient undergoing ADR at 1 IDE site by 2 surgeons was evaluated for clinical success. Failure was defined as <50% improvement in ODI and VAS or any additional surgery at index or adjacent spine motion segment. Three ADRs were evaluated: Maverick, 25 patients; Charité, 31 patients; and Kineflex, 35 patients. All procedures were 1-level operations performed at L4–L5 or L5–S1. Demographics and inclusion/exclusion criteria were similar and will be discussed.Overall clinical failure occurred in 26% (24 of 91 patients) at 2-year follow-up. Clinical failure occurred in: 28% (Maverick) (7 of 25 patients), 39% (Charité) (12 of 31 patients), and 14% (Kineflex) (5 of 35 patients). Causes of failure included facet pathology, 50% of failure patients (12 of 24). Implant complications occurred in 5% of total patients and 21% of failure patients (5 of 24). Only 5 patients went from a success to failure after 3 months. Only 1 patient went from a failure to success after a facet rhizotomy 1 year after ADR.Seventy-four percent of patients after ADR met strict clinical success after 2-year follow-up. The clinical success versus failure rate did not change from their 3-month follow-up in 85 of the 91 patients (93%). Overall clinical success may be improved most by patient selection and implant type.