MEDICAL POLICY

POLICY
RELATED POLICIES
POLICY GUIDELINES
DESCRIPTION
SCOPE
BENEFIT APPLICATION
RATIONALE
REFERENCES
CODING
APPENDIX
HISTORY

Artificial Intervertebral Disc: Lumbar Spine

Number 7.01.87

Effective Date March 10, 2014

Revision Date(s) 03/10/14; 12/09/13; 11/13/12; 12/13/11; 12/14/10; 12/08/09; 01/13/09; 02/12/08; 08/14/07; 03/13/07; 09/12/06; 07/11/06; 05/10/05; 01/01/04; 08/12/03

Replaces N/A

Policy

Artificial intervertebral discs of the lumbar spine are considered investigational.

Related Policies

7.01.120

Facet Arthroplasty

7.01.537

Artificial Intervertebral Disc: Cervical Spine

7.01.542

Lumbar Fusion

Policy Guidelines

Coding

CPT

22857

Total disc arthroplasty (artificial disc), anterior approach, including discectomy to prepare interspace (other than for decompression), single interspace, lumbar

22862

Revision including replacement of total disc arthroplasty (artificial disc), anterior approach, single interspace; lumbar

22865

Removal of total disc arthroplasty (artificial disc), anterior approach, single interspace; lumbar

22586

Arthrodesis, pre-sacral interbody technique, including disc space preparation, discectomy, with posterior instrumentation, with image guidance, includes bone graft when performed, L5-S1 interspace

0163T

Total disc arthroplasty (artificial disc), anterior approach, including discectomy to prepare interspace (other than for decompression), each additional interspace, lumbar (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)

0164T

Removal of total disc arthroplasty (artificial disc), anterior approach, each additional interspace, lumbar (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)

0165T

Revision including replacement of total disc arthroplasty, anterior approach, each additional interspace, lumbar (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)

NOTE: Artificial intervertebral discs for treating the cervical spine are addressed in a separate medical policy (see Related Policies).

Description

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is defined as discogenic back pain with degeneration of the disc confirmed by patient history and radiographic studies. Total disc replacement, using an artificial intervertebral disc designed for the lumbar spine, is proposed as an alternative to fusion in patients with persistent and disabling nonradicular low back pain.

Background

When conservative treatment of degenerative disc disease (DDD) fails, a common surgical approach is spinal fusion; more than 200,000 spinal fusions are performed each year. However, the outcomes of spinal fusion have been controversial over the years, in part due to the difficulty in determining if a patient's back pain is related to DDD and in part due to the success of the procedure itself. In addition, spinal fusion alters the biomechanics of the back, potentially leading to premature disc degeneration at adjacent levels, a particular concern for younger patients. During the past 30 years, a variety of artificial intervertebral discs have been investigated as an alternative approach to fusion. This approach, also referred to as total disc replacement or spinal arthroplasty, is intended to maintain motion at the operative level once the damaged disc has been removed and to maintain the normal biomechanics of the adjacent vertebrae.

Potential candidates for artificial disc replacement have chronic low back pain attributed to DDD, lack of improvement with nonoperative treatment, and none of the contraindications for the procedure, which include multilevel disease, spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, previous major spine surgery, neurologic symptoms, and other minor contraindications. These contraindications make artificial disc replacement suitable for a subset of patients in whom fusion is indicated. Patients who require procedures in addition to fusion, such as laminectomy and/or decompression, are not candidates for the artificial disc.

Use of a motion-preserving artificial disc increases the potential for a variety of types of implant failure. These include device failure (device fracture, dislocation, or wear), bone-implant interface failure (subsidence, dislocation-migration, vertebral body fracture), and host response to the implant (osteolysis, heterotopic ossification, and pseudotumor formation).

Regulatory Status

While artificial intervertebral discs in the lumbar spine have been used internationally for more than 10 years, only 2 devices, Charité® and ProDisc®-L, have received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Because the long-term safety and effectiveness of these devices were not known, approval was contingent on completion of postmarketing studies. The Charité (DePuy) and ProDisc-L® (Synthes Spine) devices are indicated for spinal arthroplasty in skeletally mature patients with DDD at one level. Charité is approved for use in levels L4–S1, and the ProDisc-L® is approved for use in levels L3–S1.

Production under the name Charité® was stopped in 2010. The INMOTION® lumbar artificial disc (DePuy Spine) is a renamed and modified version of the Charité® device under the same premarket approval. The INMOTION® is not currently marketed in the U.S.

The Maverick™ artificial disc (Medtronic) is not marketed in the U.S. due to patent infringement litigation.

Other devices currently under investigation in the U.S. as part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration process of approval include the FlexiCore® (Stryker Spine), and Activ-L™ (Aesculap) devices.

Scope

Medical policies are systematically developed guidelines that serve as a resource for Company staff when determining coverage for specific medical procedures, drugs or devices. Coverage for medical services is subject to the limits and conditions of the member benefit plan. Members and their providers should consult the member benefit booklet or contact a customer service representative to determine whether there are any benefit limitations applicable to this service or supply. This policy does not apply to Medicare Advantage.

Benefit Application

N/A

Rationale

This policy was created in 2003 and has been updated based on literature reviews using the MEDLINE® database. The most recent literature update was performed through October 14, 2013. Following is a summary of key literature to date.

When this policy was created in 2003, the only evidence available was several case series describing the international experience with the SB Charité® device. In February 2005, TEC completed an assessment of artificial disc replacement, focusing on the Charité® lumbar disc device. (1) Only 1 completed randomized controlled trial (RCT) had evaluated the Charité® artificial disc compared to the BAK fusion cage for the treatment of single-level degenerative disc disease (DDD).(2) The ProDisc®, FlexiCore®, and Maverick™ devices were also undergoing investigation in similarly designed randomized trials. The 2005 TEC Assessment concluded that, compared with fusion or other treatments, evidence supporting the effectiveness of artificial vertebral discs in terms of pain relief and restoration of function among patients with chronic discogenic low back pain was insufficient. In August 2006 the ProDisc-L® was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).(3, 4) An updated TEC Assessment in February 2007 reviewed the evidence on artificial lumbar disc replacement devices.(5) The Assessment concluded that given what is known about fusion as a comparator treatment, neither of the noninferiority trials provided convincing evidence of efficacy. TEC concluded that the evidence supporting the effectiveness of the ProDisc-L® and Charité® artificial disc was limited and that there was no immediately discernible advantage to use of the artificial disc. In 2010, 2 systematic reviews concluded that high-quality RCTs with a relevant control group and long-term follow-up are needed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of artificial lumbar disc replacement.(6, 7)

In 2012, a systematic review by Wang et al evaluated the risk of adjacent segment disease (ASD) with disc replacement versus fusion.(8) Analysis of data from 2 randomized trials (9, 10) found a pooled risk of ASD treated surgically to be 1.2% following lumbar disc replacement and 7.0% following fusion. The number needed to harm was calculated to be 17. In one of the studies (9) included in this systematic review, ASD was marginally reported, and the number of any reoperations did not differ between disc replacement and fusion. Limitations of the second trial (10) are described below. A 2012 Cochrane review of 7 studies concluded that while differences between disc replacement and fusion were statistically significant, they did not achieve clinically important differences for short-term pain relief, disability, or quality of life. (11) Concerns included the highly selected population, the lack of proper assessment of the primary goal of prevention of adjacent-level disease and facet joint degeneration, and the potential for harm in the long-term.

An updated TEC Assessment in 2013 evaluated the 5-year follow-up from the pivotal trial of the ProDisc.(12) The Assessment concluded that:

  • Additional study of ProDisc in an appropriately powered clinical trial with minimum 5-year follow-up is needed to confirm the results of the investigational device exemption (IDE) trial in patients with single-level chronic symptomatic DDD unresponsive to conservative management.
  • Questions remain about the durability of the disc, in particular the long-term effects on patient health of polyethylene wear debris. Surgical revision of a failed or dysfunctional disc may be complicated and dangerous to the patient, so the lifespan of a prosthetic device is a key issue.
  • The main claim of the artificial disc—that it maintains range of motion and thereby reduces the risk of adjacent-level segment degeneration better than fusion—remains subject to debate.

Charité (INMOTION®)

The Charité device is no longer marketed under that name. The INMOTION® artificial disc is a renamed and slightly modified version of the Charité. It is not currently marketed in the U.S.

Controlled Trials

The pivotal study for the Charité device consisted of an RCT comparing the artificial intervertebral disc with spinal fusion using a threaded fusion cage with autologous bone graft. (2) Patients were randomly assigned in a 2:1 fashion, with 205 receiving the artificial disc and 99 undergoing fusion. In this trial’s analysis of 267 patients followed up for up to 24 months, the Charité artificial disc had a success rate of 63% compared with a success rate of 53% for BAK (Bagby and Kuslich [BAK]) fusion, using a composite measure of outcomes that incorporated improvement of symptoms and absence of complications. The analysis showed noninferiority compared to BAK fusion using the composite measure of success but did not show statistically significant superiority in most outcome measures. The point estimate of 63% success did not show the artificial disc to be a highly successful treatment. In addition, the long-term effectiveness and health outcomes for artificial vertebral discs were uncertain.

In 2009, Guyer et al reported 5-year follow-up of a subset of the patient cohort that had participated in the IDE trial of the Charité artificial disc (described above). (10) Of the initial 14 sites, 6 declined participation in the 5-year continuation study, and an additional 8 patients were excluded from analysis, leaving 233 patients from the original randomized study. There were 133 cases included in the 5-year assessment (57% from the 8 sites). Based on a denominator of 375 patients originally enrolled in the IDE trial, this report represents 30% of the study population. Given the limitations of the original RCT and the50% to 70% loss to follow-up, results from the 5-year follow-up cannot be interpreted.

Observational Studies

Mean 17.3 year (range, 14.5-19.2) follow-up was reported for Charité types I-III intervertebral discs from the Charité hospital. (13) For the 53 of 71 patients (75%) who were available for clinical and radiologic examination, there were 16 type I discs (1984-1985), 25 type II discs (1985-1987), and 22 type III discs (1987-1989). Clinical evaluation at follow-up showed no significant difference between the 3 types of discs for the Oswestry disability index (ODI), visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, or overall outcome score. Of the 53 patients, 12 (23%) had a segmental fusion during follow-up due to implant failure or pain. Seven of the 12 (58%) were due to implant fractures, and 5 underwent secondary operative instrumented spondylodesis. of the remaining 41 patients, 9 (17% of 53) showed no signs of heterotopic ossification or ankylosis at follow-up, while ankylosis was observed in 32 patients (60%) after 17 years. No signs of adjacent segment degeneration were found in the 9 cases (17%) without signs of ankylosis, spondylodesis, or implant failure. Although no adjacent segment degeneration was observed in the small percentage of implants that remained functional (17%), these patients were significantly less satisfied than those with spontaneous ankylosis based on the ODI (52 vs. 38) and VAS (6.1 vs. 4.5). The authors, who had designed the prosthesis, concluded that this study demonstrated dissatisfying results after artificial disc replacement in the majority of the evaluated cases regarding clinical, as well as radiologic outcomes.

Scott-Young et al reported average 45-month follow-up (range, 2-10 years) from a consecutive series of 122 patients who received a single-level Charité disc. (14) VAS back scores decreased from 78.2 preoperatively to 21.9 at final follow-up. ODI scores decreased from 51.1 to 16.2, and Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire scores decreased from 16.7 to 4.2. Short Form-36 (SF-36) physical component Summary scores increased from 25.7 to 46.4, and SF-36 mental component Summary scores increased from 35.5 to 51.6. In this prospective study, 91% of patients rated their satisfaction with the surgery as “excellent” or “good” at 2 years. There were 4 (3.3%) complications that required revision with fusion. Heterotopic bone formation was reported in 6 cases (4.9%). This series is limited by loss to follow-up, with outcomes reported from 70 patients (57%) at 2 years, 18 patients (15%) at 5 years, and 3 patients (2%) at 7 years.

Long-term follow-up in a larger number of patients is needed to answer questions regarding the potential for device failure, decay, wear, and facet degeneration.

ProDisc-L® Controlled Trials

The pivotal study for the ProDisc®-L was an unblinded RCT of 242 patients followed up for 24 months.(3, 4) Patients were originally randomized in a 2:1 ratio to ProDisc®-L artificial disc replacement (n=161) or circumferential fusion (n=75). Using an FDA-requested composite measure of outcome that incorporated symptom improvement and absence of complications, the ProDisc®-L had a success rate of 53.4% and fusion had a success rate of 40.8%. This met prespecified criteria for a noninferiority margin of 10% and just achieved statistical significance for a 1-sided statistical test of superiority with a p of 0.044. The calculations were based on between 88% and 91% of randomized patients—how or which patients were censored was not described. Two-year results from this trial were published in 2007, and 5-year follow-up was reported in 2012. (15-17) The published 24-month report included 236 patients but did not provide information about the number of patients lost to follow-up. The report included alternative definitions of overall success, which resulted in a greater difference between the two groups (experimental group 63.5%, control group 45.1%, p=0.005). Out of an original 236 patients randomized, 186 (79%) were included in the 5-year follow-up of clinical outcomes (134 ProDisc-L® and 52 controls) and 166 (70%) (123 ProDisc-L® and 43 controls) were included for radiographic outcomes. Results showed noninferiority, but not superiority of artificial disc replacement, with 53.7% of ProDisc-L® patients and 50.0% of fusion patients achieving overall success at 5 years. This change in overall success in ProDisc-L® patients between 2 and 5 years (63.5%-53.7%, respectively) indicate a possible decrement in response over time with the artificial disc. This decrement in response rate was not observed in the standard fusion group and resulted in convergence of the primary outcome measures between groups over time. On post-hoc analysis of radiographs, adjacent level degeneration was observed in fewer ProDisc-L® patients (9.2% vs. 28.6%, respectively). Adjacent level reoperations were not significantly different (1.9% ProDisc-L® and 4% controls). There were 6 (3.7%) ProDisc-L® device failures.

Several of the individual components of the primary outcome measure were also statistically better in the ProDisc-L® group at 2 years, but were no longer significantly different at 5 years. For example, at 5 years ODI scores improved by 15% or more in 78.6% of ProDisc-L® patients compared to 76.5% of controls. A similar percentage of patients maintained or improved SF-36 physical component scores compared with baseline (81.3% ProDisc-L® and 74.0% fusion), and overall neurologic success was obtained in 88.8% of ProDisc-L® patients and 89.6% of fusion patients. Secondary surgeries at the index level occurred in 8% of ProDisc-L® patients and 12% of fusion patients (p value not reported). Device success, defined as the absence of any reoperation required to modify or remove implants and no need for supplemental fixation, was achieved in 96.3% of ProDisc-L® patients and 97.3% of fusion patients. Analysis of VAS scores for pain excluded patients who had secondary surgical interventions (11 ProDisc-L® and 5 fusion). For the ProDisc-L® group, VAS improved from a mean of 75.9 at baseline to 37.1 at 5 years. Mean VAS for the fusion group improved from 74.9 at baseline to 40.0 at 5 years. There was no significant difference in VAS between the groups. Narcotic use decreased from a baseline of 84% to 44.6% in ProDisc-L® patients and from 76% to 42.5% in fusion patients.

The ProDisc-L® for 2-level lumbar degenerative disease was reported in 2011 from a multicenter randomized FDA-regulated non-inferiority trial.(18) All patients in the study had DDD at 2 contiguous vertebral levels from L3 to S1 with or without leg pain, a minimum of 6 months of conservative therapy, and a minimum ODI score equal to or greater than 40. A total of 237 patients were treated in a 2:1 ratio with total disc arthroplasty or open circumferential arthrodesis (performed through both anterior and posterior open incisions). Postoperative evaluations were performed at 6 weeks and at 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months postoperatively. The total disc replacement group had decreased operative times (160.2 vs. 272.8 min), estimated blood loss (398.1 vs. 569.3 mL), and length of hospital stay (3.8 vs. 5.0 days). At 24 months, 58.8% patients in the ProDisc-L® group and 47.8% patients in the arthrodesis group achieved the criteria for success, demonstrating non-inferiority but not superiority. The ProDisc-L® group showed significant benefit in percentage improvement in the ODI (52.4% vs. 40.9%), a greater percentage of patients who achieved equal to or greater than 15-point improvement in the ODI (73.2% vs. 59.7%), the SF-36 physical component summary score (43.9 vs. 39.2), and 6-month neurologic success (87.3% vs. 71.6%). A greater percentage of patients in the arthrodesis group required secondary surgical procedures (8.3% vs. 2.4%). As noted in an accompanying commentary, there are a number of limitations to this study. Comparison with a procedure (open 360° fusion) that is not the gold standard precludes decisions on the comparative efficacy of this procedure to the standard of care. Other limitations include the relatively short follow-up and lack of blinding of both patients and providers.(19)

Observational Studies

One case series was identified that followed up 55 patients for an average of 8.7 years after disc replacement with the ProDisc-L®; 60% of patients report an excellent result.(20) Additional publications report on the implantation of artificial discs at 2 levels in the lumbar spine.(21)

The Maverick™

The Maverick™ artificial disc is not marketed in the U.S.

In 2011, Gornet et al reported 24-month results from an FDA-regulated multicenter IDE randomized nonblinded trial of the metal-on-metal Maverick artificial disc.(22) A total of 577 patients were randomized in a 2:1 ratio to the Maverick disc (n=405) or to anterior interbody fusion with INFUSE Bone Graft and tapered fusion cages (n=172). All patients underwent a single-level, open anterior surgical procedure between the L4 and S1 level. The Maverick group had longer surgical times (1.8 vs. 1.4 hours) and greater blood loss (240.7 vs. 95.2 mL). Hospitalization stays were similar for both groups (2.2 vs. 2.3 days for fusion). At 24 months, radiographic fusion was observed in 100% of the control patients. Heterotopic ossification was observed in 2.6% of patients with the artificial disc.

The FDA-defined measure of overall success was a combination of a successful outcome in ODI, neurologic status, disc height, no additional surgery classified as failure, and no serious device or device/surgical procedure-related adverse events at the 24-month follow-up. Patients who received the Maverick artificial disc had superior outcomes in overall success (73.5% vs. 55.3%) and in the component scores of ODI success (82.2% vs. 74.6% improved), back pain (improvement of 53.4 vs. 49 points), and SF-36 Physical Component Summary score (17.0 vs. 14.3). Leg pain scores did not differ between the 2 groups. Global perceived effect (“completely recovered” or “much improved”) was higher in the Maverick group (78.1% vs. 67.4%). The Maverick group had fewer implant or surgical procedure-related adverse events (1% vs. 7%), and return-to-work intervals were reduced (median, 75 vs. 96 days). The percentage of patients who were working at 24 months was similar (74.1% vs. 73.4%). There were 2 implant removals in the Maverick group; one was considered to be related to an allergic reaction. Longer follow-up with this 2-piece metal-on-metal implant is needed; particularly in light of emerging complications (e.g., pseudotumor formation) with metal-on-metal hip implants.

FlexiCore

Preliminary results on the FlexiCore® metal-on-metal intervertebral disc were presented in 2008 from 2 of the sites involved in the investigational device trial.(23) Results were reported for 76 patients enrolled at the 2 sites (out of the entire study cohort of 401 patients) who had been randomly assigned with a ratio of 2:1 to either FlexiCore® or fusion control; 9 subjects did not receive the index surgery, 44 patients were treated with the artificial disc, and 23 patients were treated with fusion. Compared with fusion, placement of the artificial disc was associated with less blood loss (97 vs. 179 mL, respectively), reduced operating time (82 vs. 179 min, respectively), and reduced length of hospital stay (2 vs. 3 days, respectively). ODI and VAS pain scores were not significantly different between the groups. At 24 months, the ODI scores had decreased from 62 to 6 in the Flexicore® group and from 58 to 12 in the fusion group. VAS scores decreased from 86 to 16 in the FlexiCore® group and from 82 to 20 in the fusion group. Eight patients in each group had complications requiring interventional surgery.

Other

In 2009, Berg et al published 2-year follow-up of an RCT of 1- and 2- level total disc replacement. (9) Five-year follow-up of patients in this study was reported in 2013. (24) Patients (n=152) with symptomatic DDD in 1 or 2 motion segments between L3 and S1, with lower back pain as a predominant symptom, were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 total disc replacement devices available in Sweden (Charité®, Prodisc-L®, or Maverick™, n=80) or to instrumented fusion (posterolateral or posterior lumbar interbody fusion, n=72). The randomization was stratified for number of levels, with 56% of total disc replacement patients having 1-level surgery compared to 46% of fusion patients. Only patients who did not have a preference to the type of treatment were enrolled in the trial, and they were informed of the result of randomization on arrival at the hospital for surgery. No patient left the study when informed of the randomization. There was 100% follow-up at the 1-year and 2-year assessments and 99.3% follow-up at the 5-year assessment.

The primary outcome, which does not appear to be a validated measure, was a global assessment of back pain consisting of “total relief,” “much better,” “better,” “unchanged,” or “worse.” The percentage of patients in the disc replacement group who reported being pain-free was 30% at the 1- and 2-year follow-up, and 38% at 5-year follow-up. In the fusion group, 10% reported being pain-free at 1 year and 15% reported being pain-free at 2 and 5 years. At 5 years, a similar percentage of patients reported being either totally pain free or much better (72.5% for disc replacement and 66.7% for fusion). The total disc replacement group showed lower mean VAS for pain at 1 and 2 years (25.4 vs. 29.2, respectively) and had better outcome scores on a quality-of-life scale (EQ-5D) and the ODI at 1 year (19.5 vs. 24.9, respectively) but not the 2-year follow-up (20.0 vs. 23.0, respectively). At 5years, the disc replacement group had modestly improved outcome scores for both VAS back pain (23 vs. 31) and ODI (17 vs. 23). The most common cause of reoperation in the disc replacement group was to fuse the index level that was believed to cause persistent or recurrent pain (5%).

The most common cause of reoperation in the fusion group was operation at an adjacent level (7%). Twenty-two disc replacement patients underwent postoperative facet block due to remaining pain. Twenty fusion patients had their instrumentation removed due to persistent or recurrent pain. The investigators found no association between achievement of surgical goals (absence of mobility with fusion and maintenance of mobility with disc replacement) and clinical outcomes at 2 years.(25)

The design of a U.S. multicenter clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the Aesculap Activ-L™ artificial disc has also been reported.(26) The study is a single-blinded, randomized noninferiority trial comparing Activ-L™ with a control artificial lumbar disc (Charité® or ProDisc-L®) for single-level DDD of the lumbar spine. Following surgeon training with an initial 90 patients, it is expected that 324 patients will be randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio. The patients will be followed for 5 years post-treatment.

Adverse Events

Complications with artificial lumbar discs are emerging with longer-term follow-up. One study from Asia reported that clinical outcomes of both the Charité and the ProDisc were fairly good, but the facet joint of the index level and the disc at the adjacent level showed an aggravation of the degenerative process in a significant number of patients, regardless of the device used. (27) Another study reported that progression of facet degeneration (29% of levels replaced with the ProDisc II) was associated with female gender, malposition of the prosthesis on the frontal plane, and 2-level total disc replacement.(28) Analysis of postoperative pain patterns in 58 patients of 175 (33%) implanted with the ProDisc II showed facet joint pain in 22 (13%) and sacroiliac joint pain in 21 (12%).(29)

Another report describes late complications in 75 patients who had received an earlier generation SB Charité prosthesis. (30) As all of the patients had been originally treated by other surgeons, the percentage of implant failure cannot be determined from this report. The mean interval between insertion and retrieval of the prosthesis was 8 years and 11 months (range, 3-16 years). The most frequent complications included subsidence (n=39), disc prosthesis too small (n=24), adjacent disc degeneration (n=36), degenerative scoliosis (n=11), facet joint degeneration (n=25), and metal wire breakage (n=10). The report indicated that good placement and good sizing of the disc prosthesis appeared problematic for many of the patients, adjacent-disc degeneration was seen in many patients, and polyethylene wear with inflammatory fibrous tissue containing wear debris was observed. The report concluded that wear mechanisms of artificial discs may be similar to artificial hips and knees and that, due to nearby vascular structures and scar tissue from the original surgery, retrieval of an artificial disc prosthesis can be difficult and dangerous. Therefore, long-term health outcomes following disc implantation in young active patients may become a clinically significant issue.

In 2011, Guyer et al reported 4 cases of a lymphocytic reaction to a metal-on-metal artificial disc (1 Kineflex-C cervical disc, 2 Kineflex-L lumbar discs, and 1 Maverick lumbar disc) that required revision. (31) The mode of failure was determined to be compression of neural tissue or other adjacent structures by a soft-tissue mass. Three patients had a good outcome after the explantation and revision surgery; 1 patient continued to have residual symptoms related to the neural compression caused by the mass. Two other cases of a granulomatous mass (pseudotumor) with the metal-on-metal Maverick prosthesis have been reported. (32, 33) One caused iliac vein occlusion and spinal stenosis; the second resulted in spinal compression and paraplegia.

Clinical Input Received through Physician Specialty Societies and Academic Medical Centers

While the various physician specialty societies and academic medical centers may collaborate with and make recommendations during this process, through the provision of appropriate reviewers, input received does not represent an endorsement or position statement by the physician specialty societies or academic medical centers, unless otherwise noted.

In response to requests, input was received from 1 physician specialty society and 3 academic medical centers while this policy was under review in 2008. The 4 reviewers disagreed with the policy statement that artificial intervertebral discs for the lumbar spine are investigational.

After consideration of the clinical input in 2008, it was concluded that due to limitations of the only 2 available RCTs (described here), combined with the marginal benefit compared to fusion, evidence is insufficient to determine whether artificial lumber discs are beneficial in the short term. In addition, serious questions remain about potential long-term complications with these implants.

Summary

Overall, the available scientific evidence remains insufficient to permit conclusions concerning the effect of this technology on the net health outcome. The Charité ® has been withdrawn from the market and its successor, the INMOTION®, is not marketed in the U.S. The 5-year results of the ProDisc-L® RCT provide evidence for the noninferiority of artificial disc replacement. Superiority of ProDisc-L® to circumferential fusion was achieved at 2, but not 5 years in this unblinded trial. At this time, the potential benefits of the artificial disc, such as faster recovery or reduced adjacent-level disc degeneration, have not been demonstrated. In addition, considerable uncertainty remains about whether response rates will continue to decline over longer time periods, as well as the potential for long-term complications with these implants.

Thus, evidence is insufficient to determine whether artificial lumber discs improve outcomes in the short term, and questions remain about potential long-term complications with these implants. While some randomized trials have concluded that this technology is noninferior to fusion, the potential benefits of artificial lumbar disc that would make noninferiority sufficient to demonstrate clinical benefit have not been established. Therefore, artificial intervertebral discs for the lumbar spine are considered investigational.

Practice Guidelines and Position Statements

In 2009, the American Pain Society’s (APS) practice guidelines provided a recommendation of “insufficient evidence” to adequately evaluate long-term benefits and harms of vertebral disc replacement.(34) The guideline was based on a systematic review commissioned by APS and conducted by the Oregon Evidence-Based Practice Center.(35) The rationale for the recommendation was that although artificial disc replacement has been associated with similar outcomes compared to fusion, the trial results were only applicable to a narrowly defined subset of patients with single-level degenerative disease, and the type of fusion surgery in the trials is no longer widely used due to frequent poor outcomes. In addition, all trials had been industry-funded, and data on long-term (beyond 2 years) benefits and harms following artificial disc replacement were limited.

Guidance in 2004 from the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) concluded that evidence on the safety and efficacy of prosthetic intervertebral disc replacement in the lumbar spine appeared adequate to support the use of this procedure with audit and review; however, there was little evidence on outcomes beyond 2 to 3 years.(36) In 2009, NICE updated the guidance on this procedure with studies reporting 13-year follow-up but with the majority of evidence from studies with shorter durations of follow-up.(37) NICE concluded that evidence appeared adequate to support the use of this procedure, provided that normal arrangements are in place for clinical governance, consent, and audit. Clinicians were encouraged to continue to collect and publish data on longer-term outcomes, including information about patient selection and the need for further surgery.

Medicare National Coverage

Effective for services performed from May 16 through August 13, 2007, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) found that lumbar artificial disc replacement (LADR) with the Charité® lumbar artificial disc is not reasonable and necessary for the Medicare population older than 60 years of age. Therefore, CMS issued a national noncoverage determination for LADR with the Charité® lumbar artificial disc for the Medicare population older than 60 years of age.(38)

Effective for services performed on or after August 14, 2007, CMS found that LADR is not reasonable and necessary for the Medicare population older than 60 years of age; therefore, LADR is noncovered for Medicare beneficiaries older than 60 years of age. For Medicare beneficiaries 60 years of age and younger, there is no national coverage determination (NCD), leaving such determinations to be made by the local contractors.

The NCD was revised in 2007 to reflect a change from noncoverage for a specific implant (the Charité®), to noncoverage for the lumbar artificial disc replacement procedure for the Medicare population older than 60 years of age. (39) CMS provided this explanation, “The original NCD for LADR was focused on a specific lumbar artificial disc implant (Charité®) because it was the only one with FDA approval at that time. In the original decision memorandum for LADR, CMS stated that when another lumbar artificial disc received FDA approval CMS would reconsider the policy. Subsequently, another lumbar artificial disc, ProDisc®-L, received FDA approval, which initiated the reconsideration of the NCD on LADR. After reviewing the evidence, CMS is convinced that indications for the procedure of LADR exclude the populations older than age 60; therefore, the revised NCD addresses the procedure of LADR rather than LADR with a specific manufacture’s implant.”(40)

References

  1. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center (TEC). Artificial vertebral disc replacement. TEC Assessments 2005; Volume 20, Tab 1.
  2. Blumenthal S, McAfee PC, Guyer RD et al. A prospective, randomized, multicenter Food and Drug Administration investigational device exemptions study of lumbar total disc replacement with the CHARITE artificial disc versus lumbar fusion: part I: evaluation of clinical outcomes. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2005; 30(14):1565-75; discussion E387-91.
  3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Draft of PRODISC-L® Total Disc Replacement package insert. Available online at: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cdrh_docs/pdf5/P050010c.pdf. Last accessed February, 2014.
  4. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. PRODISC-L® Summary of Safety and Effectiveness Data. Available online at: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cdrh_docs/pdf5/P050010b.pdf. Last accessed February, 2014.
  5. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center (TEC). Artificial lumbar disc replacement. TEC Assessments 2007; Volume 22, Tab 2.
  6. van den Eerenbeemt KD, Ostelo RW, van Royen BJ et al. Total disc replacement surgery for symptomatic degenerative lumbar disc disease: a systematic review of the literature. Eur Spine J 2010; 19(8):1262-80.
  7. Yajun W, Yue Z, Xiuxin H et al. A meta-analysis of artificial total disc replacement versus fusion for lumbar degenerative disc disease. Eur Spine J 2010; 19(8):1250-61.
  8. Wang JC, Arnold PM, Hermsmeyer JT et al. Do lumbar motion preserving devices reduce the risk of adjacent segment pathology compared with fusion surgery? A systematic review. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2012; 37(22 Suppl):S133-43.
  9. Berg S, Tullberg T, Branth B et al. Total disc replacement compared to lumbar fusion: a randomised controlled trial with 2-year follow-up. Eur Spine J 2009; 18(10):1512-9.
  10. Guyer RD, McAfee PC, Banco RJ et al. Prospective, randomized, multicenter Food and Drug Administration investigational device exemption study of lumbar total disc replacement with the CHARITE artificial disc versus lumbar fusion: five-year follow-up. Spine J 2009; 9(5):374-86.
  11. Jacobs W, Van der Gaag NA, Tuschel A et al. Total disc replacement for chronic back pain in the presence of disc degeneration. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2012; 9:CD008326.
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  13. Putzier M, Funk JF, Schneider SV et al. Charite total disc replacement--clinical and radiographical results after an average follow-up of 17 years. Eur Spine J 2006; 15(2):183-95.
  14. Scott-Young MN, Lee MJ, Nielsen DE et al. Clinical and radiological mid-term outcomes of lumbar single-level total disc replacement. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2011.
  15. Zigler J, Delamarter R, Spivak JM et al. Results of the prospective, randomized, multicenter Food and Drug Administration investigational device exemption study of the ProDisc-L® total disc replacement versus circumferential fusion for the treatment of 1-level degenerative disc disease. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2007; 32(11):1155-62; discussion 63.
  16. Zigler JE, Delamarter RB. Five-year results of the prospective, randomized, multicenter, Food and Drug Administration investigational device exemption study of the ProDisc-L® total disc replacement versus circumferential arthrodesis for the treatment of single-level degenerative disc disease. J Neurosurg Spine 2012; 17(6):493-501.
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Coding

Codes

Number

Description

CPT

0163T

Total disc arthroplasty (artificial disc), anterior approach, including discectomy to prepare interspace (other than for decompression), each additional interspace, lumbar (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)

 

0164T

Removal of total disc arthroplasty, anterior approach, lumbar, each additional interspace (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)

 

0165T

Revision of total disc arthroplasty (artificial disc),, anterior approach, lumber, each additional interspace

 

22586

Arthrodesis, pre-sacral interbody technique, including disc space preparation, discectomy, with posterior instrumentation, with image guidance, includes bone graft when performed, L5-S1 interspace

 

22857

Total disc arthroplasty (artificial disc), anterior approach, including discectomy to prepare interspace (other than for decompression), lumbar, single interspace

 

22862

Revision including replacement of total disc arthroplasty (artificial disc) anterior approach, lumbar, single interspace

 

22865

Removal of total disc arthroplasty (artificial disc), anterior approach, lumbar, single interspace

ICD-9 Procedure

84.60

Insertion of spinal disc prosthesis, not otherwise specified

 

84.64

Insertion of partial spinal disc prosthesis, lumbosacral

 

84.65

Insertion of total spinal disc prosthesis, lumbosacral

 

84.68

lumbosacral

 

84.69

not otherwise specified

ICD-10-PCS
(effective 10/01/14)

0SR20JZ

Surgical, lower joints, replacement, lumbar vertebral disc, open, synthetic substitute

 

OSR40JZ

Surgical, lower joints, replacement, lumbosacral disc, open, synthetic substitute

Type of Service

Surgery

 

Place of Service

Inpatient

 

Appendix

N/A

History

Date

Reason

08/12/03

Add to Surgery Section - New policy. Hold for notification, effective date December 15, 2003.

01/01/04

Replace policy - CPT code updates only.

05/10/05

Replace policy - Policy updated with February 2005 TEC Assessment; references added; policy statement unchanged.

04/21/06

Codes Updated - No other changes

07/11/06

Replace policy - Policy updated with Medicare noncoverage decision; policy statement unchanged; reference added.

09/12/06

Replace policy - Updated Description and Benefit Application sections to include information on FDA approval of ProDisk L. No other changes.

01/26/07

Codes Updated - No other changes.

02/26/07

Update Codes - No other changes.

03/13/07

Replace policy - Title expanded for clarification with the addition of “Lumbar Spine”; cross reference added.

04/10/07

Cross Reference Update - No other changes.

08/14/07

Replace policy - Policy updated with 2007 TEC Assessment; new reference added. Policy statement unchanged.

02/12/08

Replace policy - Policy updated with literature review; no change in policy statement. References added.

01/13/09

Replace policy - Policy updated with literature search; no change to the policy statement. Rationale section extensively revised references and codes added.

12/08/09

Replace policy - Policy updated with literature search; no change to the policy statement. References added.

09/14/10

Cross Reference Update - No other changes.

12/14/10

Replace policy - Policy updated with literature search through August 2010. References have been added and reordered; the policy statement remains unchanged.

12/16/11

Replace policy – Policy updated with literature search through August 2011; Rationale section revised; references 11 and 14 added and references reordered; policy statement unchanged.

11/27/12

Replace policy - Rationale section revised based on literature review through June 2012. References 12, 14,19,20,23 29 added; others renumbered. Policy statement unchanged.

01/10/13

Coding update. CPT code 22586, effective 1/1/13, added to policy.

04/17/13

Update Related Policies – Add 7.01.542.

09/30/13

Update Related Policies. Change title to 7.01.120.

12/09/13

Replace policy. Rationale section updated. Added references 8,9,11,12,13,23,31,32. No change to policy statement. CPT codes 63030 and 63035 removed from policy; these do not apply.

03/25/14

Replace policy. Policy updated with literature search through October, 2013. References 12, 16, 17 and 24 added; others renumbered/removed. Policy statement unchanged. ICD-9 diagnosis and ICD-10-CM codes removed from the policy; these are not utilized in adjudication.


Disclaimer: This medical policy is a guide in evaluating the medical necessity of a particular service or treatment. The Company adopts policies after careful review of published peer-reviewed scientific literature, national guidelines and local standards of practice. Since medical technology is constantly changing, the Company reserves the right to review and update policies as appropriate. Member contracts differ in their benefits. Always consult the member benefit booklet or contact a member service representative to determine coverage for a specific medical service or supply. CPT codes, descriptions and materials are copyrighted by the American Medical Association (AMA).
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