Dr. Rolando Garcia, a Miami-based spine surgeon and the first surgeon in Florida to perform spinal disc replacement surgery, has co-developed the first lumbar disc replacement to be approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in over 10 years.
ActivL is the new generation of lumbar disc replacement and the first artificial lumbar disc with intelligent motion technology. Made up of chromium endplates that affix to the patient’s vertebrae with bone-sparing spikes for stabilization, it has a mobile ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene core that supports rotational movement similar to the movement of the healthy lumbar spine.
The ActivL was approved by the FDA in June of 2015 after an extensive five-year, multi-center national clinical study that followed 324 patients. Dr. Garcia, a spine surgeon at Orthopedic Care Centers, not only co-developed this technology but was also the co-lead investigator in the FDA trial. He performed the first ActivL surgery in the United States.
Dr. Garcia currently is the only spinal surgeon in South Florida, and one of a select few throughout the country, to offer ActivL as an option for lumbar disc replacement. He also has performed the most of these surgeries in the state of Florida.
One of the primary causes of lower back pain is degeneration of the intervertebral disc. Conservative treatment ultimately fails in over 4.5 million patients, and of these, some 500,000 undergo surgery of the lumbar spine. Up until now, spinal fusion surgery has been one of the only surgical options available. However, this surgery has a varying success rate and can result in stiffness of the spine as well as other long-term complications such as pain, spinal stenosis, increased stress on the spine, disc herniation, joint arthritis and accelerated degenerative changes in the disc.