The Lanman Foundation | Dr. Todd Lanman


Artificial Disc replacement: curing chronic back pain and preserving motion | Dr. Todd Lanman



Konrad Bright describes how Dr. Todd Lanman helped him keep his mobility and his life with artificial disc replacement surgery.

The latest research shows that artificial disc replacement (ADR) has become the primary solution for patients seeking to relieve spinal pain from degenerative disc disease and other causes.

For more than 100 years, anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (or “spinal fusion”) has been the gold standard for treating patients who experience pain and mobility problems from degenerative disc disease. But the cure always had its downside. As you fuse the spine, you reduce flexibility and natural movement. The patient comes away from fusion surgery without the original complaint of pain, but also a future of reduced physical activity. Spinal fusion also creates additional stresses on other parts of the ‘unfused’ spine which often leads to further disc degeneration and more surgery.

For many years, physicians have dreamed of cervical and lumbar disc replacement surgery to solve the many problems caused by spinal fusion. Instead of fusing vertebrae (preventing movement), why not replace the discs that were causing the problem in the first place?

Spinal Fusion often causes more long-term problems. Since we’re fusing vertebrae together, this puts a lot of pressure on nearby non-fused vertebrae. The added pressure and stress tends to accelerate additional degeneration of adjacent discs. Once you get spinal fusion, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll need further fusion for other parts of your spine.

A flurry of positive data for disc replacement surgery shows that disc replacement surgery is safer, more efficient, and can keep patients out of the hospital. Analysis of 19 clinical trials involving 4,516 patient cases showed that disc replacement surgery resulted in better functional outcomes, fewer adverse effects, and fewer surgical revisions than spinal fusion. Disc replacement patients also tend to recover more quickly than fusion patients after surgery. And of course, disc replacement patients have a substantially better range of motion and better long-term outcome than fusion patients.

Dr. Lanman is a board-certified neurosurgeon who has been involved in the treatment of spinal disorders for over 25 years. He is a professor at the University of California Los Angeles Department of Neurosurgery and he is a member of the Cedars-Sinai Institute of Spinal Disorders. He is a leading investigator and clinical advocate for artificial disc replacement surgery. This private practice is centrally located in Beverly Hills.

He has published more than ten peer-reviewed articles, as well as book chapters on topics relating to neurological surgery, and has presented more than two dozen papers at national and regional medical society meetings. He has been tapped by colleagues to be the principal medical investigator on a broad swath of clinical trials for motion preserving surgeries and artificial disc replacement devices, most recently the Prestige LP and M6, with the former recently receiving FDA pre-market approval in 2016 with his continuous support and advocacy.

He graduated from Northwestern University School of Medicine, Chicago, IL with top honors and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He completed a general surgery internship and neurological surgery residency at UCLA. He is an active member of many professional societies and organizations including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery (ISASS), North American Spine Society (NASS), and Fellow American College of Surgeons. Dr. Lanman is a Diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a Fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (FAANS).

The Lanman Foundation Video

The 4D Health Process

The 4D Health Process is a comprehensive, holistic approach to spinal health care. Dr. Lanman developed the 4D Health Process to encourage clients to think about their health as the foundation for life. The concept is based on the belief that spinal health should be tailored to the patient based on personal goals and priorities. Dr. Lanman considers a person’s age, lifestyle, nutrition, hormone status, physical exercise routine, and overall health to create a complete representation of the patient. He uses this through and meticulous analysis of each patient along with decades of training and experience to create a personalized treatment plan. This 4D treatment plan is the core of a patient’s blueprint for life. Dr. Lanman believes it’s not enough to just get

better. We should strive to be greater than better. The goal of the Lanman Foundation for Spinal Advancement & Innovative Health is to integrate and expand Dr. Lanman’s 4D Health Process to include the latest basic, clinical, and surgical research across all relevant disciplines. The foundation will seek to provide a comprehensive scientific analysis assessing the factors that relate to spinal health including age, lifestyle, nutrition, hormone status, exercise, supplements, spine and joint health. In addition to its research goals, the Lanman Foundation for Spinal Advancement & Innovative Health will provide medical and surgical services to economically disadvantaged patients, based on the availability of resources and the degree of need.


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