Revision and Explantation Strategies Involving the CHARITÉ Lumbar Artificial Disc Replacement

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Study Design.

A large case series of anterior revision surgery in patients who had complications following lumbar total disc replacement with the CHARITÉ artificial disc.


To analyze and discuss the etiology of implant-related complications and to present a strategy that can be applied to lumbar intervertebral disc prostheses in cases where anterior revision surgery is necessary.

Summary of Background Data.

This report represents the largest single-site, consecutive case series reported in the literature of anterior revision surgery following lumbar disc arthroplasty.


A total of 18 patients are included in this study. All patients required an anterior revision procedure for repositioning or removal of the prosthesis. The mean time to revision was 6 months (range, 9 days to 4 years).


In 17 of 20 cases, implant removal was required and the patient was converted to a fusion. In 3 cases, primary revision of the CHARITÉ artificial disc was performed. Six revision cases were performed within the early postoperative period, defined as 7 to 14 days. All early cases were approached via reexploration of the original anterior midline retroperitoneal incision. Late revision was required in 14 cases, ranging from 3 weeks to 4 years following initial arthroplasty. A variety of surgical approaches were used in late revisions, including the lateral transpsoas approach at L3–L4 or L4–L5 (n = 5), expanded ipsilateral left retroperitoneal approach at L4–L5 (n = 2), contralateral right retroperitoneal approach at L5–S1 (n = 6), and transperitoneal approach (n = 1). Following 20 consecutive, anterior revision procedures, implant revision was successfully achieved in all cases.


Total disc replacement implant revisions occur largely as a result of technical errors in positioning and sizing of the implant. In addition, adherence to strict patient selection criteria will eliminate many cases of implant failure. When necessary, anterior revision surgery can be performed safely when a strategic approach is used.

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