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7th Congress of the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Lisbon - 4-7 June, 2005


Surgical treatment of degenerative disc disease (DDD) has been widely modified in the last decade. The clinical evaluation of back pain has been improved by the use of functional scores and VAS. The discography is an adjunct for decision-making, but CT scan and MRI are the keys to evaluate the aging process.

The conservative treatment with physiotherapy and exercise programs is always the first and very useful treatment. Percutaneous therapy like facets injection, laser, IDET, radiofrequency in the disc can be a solution in some specific cases. Their efficacy has been evaluated in different studies and is sometimes controversial but there aren’t contraindications for further treatment and their complication rate is low. Dynamic posterior stabilization devices using pedicular screws and ligament tension band are proposed to try to put the disc in rest and some histological analyzes confirmed this hypothesis. Interspinous devices have been evaluated since many years but there indications need to be established as the literature available doesn’t provide clear indication criteria. Partial disc replacement is a new challenge for DDD. Many devices have in clinical evaluation but only few have prospective studies demonstrating their efficacy. The PDN was the pioneer and as the other in the evaluation process it has to solve the problem of the stability of the device. The last products on the market are promising. The total disc replacement is the last solution before fusion. Many studies including prospective and randomized have demonstrated the efficacy of total disc replacement. The indication is the key point of success. The training to perform the approach safely is mandated. Finally the fusion: anterior, posterior or combined is the ultimate solution to treat DDD. This was the gold standard and is still the most widely used treatment. As a dead end fusion is used only if other solutions cannot be proposed or used. DDD therapy has to be considered with the help of an algorithm including all motion preservation treatment before fusion.

Theses abstracts were prepared by Professor Roger Lemaire. Correspondence should be addressed to EFORT Central Office, Freihofstrasse 22, CH-8700 Küsnacht, Switzerland.