In 2022, the artificial disc replacement (ADR) market was valued at $600 million, and, by 2030, that market is expected to grow to $1.3 billion. What’s contributing to this massive growth? There are several factors behind the trend, including that more people than ever are experiencing back pain, whether from manual labor or slouching throughout the workday. Neck pain, in particular, is on the rise due to “tech neck,” caused by people looking down at their phones all day.

However, the growth in the artificial cervical disc market isn’t all bad news. More companies are investing in artificial disc development as doctors move away from spinal fusion and toward disc replacement. This procedure, which was once an experimental and innovative concept decades ago, continues to prove itself as a valuable solution for patients in pain.

Forecasting the growth potential of the artificial cervical disc market is important for both patients and doctors. Patients can learn how to receive top-notch treatment while doctors can stop on top of cutting-edge medical innovations. Here’s what you need to know about the future of disc replacement and the artificial models that support it.


A Historical Perspective on Artificial Cervical Discs

To understand the growth of the artificial cervical disc market, it helps to look at the history of disc replacement as a whole. For decades, spinal fusion has been the main operation to treat back pain. Even though researchers had been exploring disc replacement as early as the 1960s, fusion was still considered the best and easiest way to address disc issues. It wasn’t until the 1990s that artificial discs were first developed and the very first disc wasn’t approved for surgical use until 2004.

One issue with the 2004 disc approval is that it only treated one level in the lumbar spine. Another decade would pass before an artificial disc would be approved for multiple levels. As of 2021, there are three FDA-approved artificial lumbar discs and eight FDA-approved artificial cervical discs.

Today’s surgeons are watching cervical disc evolution in real-time. This field is so new that today’s doctors are pioneering new treatments and the best ones are leading clinical trials to develop additional artificial disc technology.


Current Artificial Disc Market Analysis

Artificial disc replacement is a new field, which is driving the growth of this market. More medical device companies are investing in artificial discs, with major players like Aesculap, Centinel Spine, Medtronic, and Orthofix leading the way. One market analysis reports that cervical disc production continues to outperform lumbar disc manufacturing due to patient demand. The majority of artificial discs are made with a metal-on-polymer design (63%) compared to metal-on-metal.


Factors Fueling the Growth of Artificial Cervical Disc Market

Artificial disc replacement is a relatively new procedure, which means there is a lot of room for medical advancements related to artificial discs. However, there are secondary market growth factors that are also driving demand within this industry.

Globally, more than 619 million are affected by back pain. By 2050, an estimated 843 million people will live with back pain. This is because of population growth and technological advancements that allow people to live longer. According to the Mayo Clinic, around 20% of the population has DDD by the age of 65. This increases to 35% for 80-year-olds. As healthcare improves and more people live past 80, their chances of DDD increase.

Lifestyle factors also play a role in the rise of cases requiring artificial disc replacement. Sedentary jobs and poor posture from smartphone use can place pressure on the spine throughout the day. This means cases of DDD could become even more common in the coming decades.


Challenges and Barriers to Market Expansion

While the artificial disc market continues to grow, there are some limitations that restrict its expansion. COVID-19 is a great example of this. When doctors could not perform disc replacement or meet with patients, demand for these devices may have temporarily dropped.

Other market challenges include the education of both patients and surgeons. Patients need to know that this procedure is an option and surgeons need to know how to do it. Additionally, because this is a small field, there isn’t as much competition to develop better devices and dominate the industry.

There are also regulatory barriers that slow device development. Each new artificial disc needs to be approved by the FDA before surgeons can start using it. This process can take several months – or years – to complete.


Forecasting the Future Growth of Artificial Cervical Disc Market

A few leading surgeons have embraced artificial disc replacement (ADR) since its initial development in the 1990s. This elite group includes Dr. Todd H. Lanman, founder of the ADR Advanced Disc Replacement Spinal Restoration Center. Dr. Lanman has led his spinal neurosurgery practice since 1989 and continues to embrace new techniques and technology.

Dr. Lanman views the growth of the artificial cervical disc market as a good thing. He was one of the first spinal neurosurgeons to embrace disc replacement as a superior solution to spinal fusion for many patients. He sees the adoption of this technique across his field as overwhelmingly positive. When surgeons have access to better devices and new technology, they can drive better patient outcomes. Not only can they focus on pain management, but also on the preservation of the patient’s range of motion.

Dr. Lanman’s market predictions focus on the increased development of artificial discs along with surgical tools to make this procedure less invasive. These future growth prospects can lead to faster recovery times and fuller recoveries overall. A successful operation requires a skilled surgeon and the best possible tools for the job.


Case Studies & Thoughts from Dr. Lanman

The field of artificial disc replacement is just starting to grow and more doctors are discovering uses for this procedure. The window is widening for the types of conditions this operation can treat and previously inoperable candidates are now potential patients for surgery. Not only has Dr. Lanman been able to treat a wider variety of patients than ever before, and help them live pain-free lives, but he has worked to develop other surgeons who continue to embrace disc replacement and apply it within their practices.

The growth of artificial disc replacement inspired Dr. Lanman to create the Top Doctors in Arthroplasty program. Dr Lanman is only one surgeon, which means he can’t help every patient in every city. Through this program, Dr. Lanman partners with other elite surgeons who share his vision about the future of artificial disc replacement. He carefully meets with each doctor before adding them to this program.

For example, a patient who lives with back pain in Kentucky wouldn’t have to travel to California to receive treatment from Dr. Lanman. They could meet with Dr. K. Brandon Strenge instead and receive the best-in-class treatment Dr. Lanman provides from a highly skilled and like-minded surgeon.

The Top Doctors program is made up of leaders who are eager to test the boundaries of neurosurgery to improve patient care and will continue to expand as more surgeons embrace the latest artificial disc replacement technology.



1. How do artificial cervical discs work?

Artificial discs work just like the ones found naturally in your spine. They create a barrier between two vertebrae and allow movement when you walk, run, or jump. These devices serve as better alternatives to spinal fusion, which reduces pain levels but also harms the patient’s range of motion.

2. What are the risks associated with disc replacement surgery?

Every medical procedure comes with risks. Patients might be at risk for infection or the body might reject the artificial disc although extremely rare. However, disc replacement is considered less invasive and more effective than spinal fusion.

3. Are artificial cervical discs suitable for everyone?

Artificial discs are suitable for the majority of candidates who qualify for spinal surgery. However, they aren’t ideal for everyone. There are times when your doctor might still recommend fusion or non-surgical treatments. That’s why it’s critical to discuss your unique case during a comprehensive evaluation with an experienced and skilled spinal surgeon like Dr. Lanman.

4. How long is the recovery period after disc replacement?

Most patients can resume light activity within three weeks of the operation. Most people have fully recovered from disc replacement within three months of the procedure. They can return to work, enjoy their favorite activities, and live life to the fullest.

5. What are the latest advancements in artificial cervical disc technology?

Medical experts continue to develop better discs that fit more naturally between the vertebrae. Researchers are also looking for new ways to complete these operations so they are less invasive. This creates better patient experiences while reducing the overall risks of the procedure.

6. Why is an artificial disc replacement preferred over spinal fusion?

Disc replacement is preferred over fusion because it is less invasive. Instead of open-back surgery, doctors only need to make a small incision. This procedure is also preferred because it drives better results – both in reducing pain levels and preserving the patient’s range of motion.


Summarizing the Growth Potential of Artificial Cervical Disc Market

Artificial disc replacement is a relatively new procedure with an opportunity for atmospheric growth as medical advancements are made and more experts explore it as a better alternative to spinal fusion. The artificial cervical disc market is expected to grow significantly over the next decade to keep up with patient demand, due to an aging population and poor posture habits.

The future is bright for people who live with back pain. Don’t settle for a life restricted by your symptoms, request an appointment with Dr. Lanman. He will perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine if you are a good candidate for disc replacement and help you develop a treatment plan for your unique case. Request a consultation today


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