When chronic back pain is caused by intervertebral disc degeneration and not by muscle or joint problems, insertion of an intervertebral disc prosthesis is often considered as a means of treatment.
In the MRI this wear is visible as a “black disc” and bone marrow edema (Modic sign). In such cases, removal of the intervertebral disc, the generator of the pain, with subsequent insertion of an intervertebral disc prosthesis may abolish the pain.
The prostheses are inserted via an anterior approach to the cervical or lumbar spine. A major advantage is that the nerve canal does not have to be opened.