On April 20, Jocelyn Idema, DO, of Pittsburgh-based Advanced Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, became the first spine surgeon in Pennsylvania to perform lumbar disc replacement using Aesculap's activL Artificial Disc.
"We are proud to be the first surgeons in the region to embrace this breakthrough approach to treating chronic lower back pain caused by degenerative disease," said Dr. Idema. "Based on outcomes from the activL Artificial Disc clinical trial and our own patient feedback, we believe that the activL Artificial Disc represents the next generation of spinal disc replacement technology.
The activL Artificial Disc includes Aesculap's Intelligent Motion Technology and is designed for one-level procedures in patients with lumbar disc degeneration. Disc replacement procedures are an alternative to fusion and designed to mimic the natural motion of the human spine. The activL includes cobalt chromium endplates to affix to the patient's vertebrae with bone-sparing spikes for initial stabilization. It uses mobile ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene core to support the controlled translational and rotational movements.
The activL is the first lumbar total disc replacement device to receive FDA clearance in more than 10 years and clinical studies demonstrate it can increase range of motion, lower pain scores and return patients to work more quickly than other artificial disc replacements.
Dr. Idema trained on the technique under Scott Blumenthal, MD, at the Texas Back Institute's Center for Disc Replacement in Plano.