University of Nottingham
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Novel spinal implants - Cadisc(R)

Cadisc-L Lumbar Prosthesis Courtesy of Rainer Technology Limited

The discs of the lumbar and cervical spine are subject to degenerative changes caused by ageing and the stresses of day-to-day life. The resulting loss in disc height and flexibility and reduced ability to absorb shock can lead to pain or even tearing or rupturing of the disc.

Professor Donal McNally's team has considerable expertise in the field of spinal mechanics, particularly the mechanical function of the intervertebral disc and how this relates to internal structure.


This work resulted in the design and manufacture of a novel spinal implant which was commercialised as Cadisc® by Ranier, and which obtained CE marking.  Implantation of Cadisc®-L (for the lumbar spine) and Cadisc®-C for the cervical spine.

Cadisc implants have been widely used by patients who have enjoyed the benefits of the treatment which significantly outperformed the alternatives in measured outcomes of reducing patient disability, pain and quality of life.

The highly multidisciplinary work involved collaboration with: spine surgeons to understand better the surgical needs specific to spine surgery and ease of operation; orthopaedic surgeon to appreciate the general surgical situation; physicists to aid with imaging and measurement techniques to evaluate the pre and post-surgery conditions and physiologists  to understand the human physiology aspects.

This work won the award of the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (ISSLS) Prize — one of the most prestigious awards in spinal research - in two of three categories in 2009.

Experts: Donal McNally, Brigitte Scammell, Penny Gowland