Lumbar disc herniation is one of the most common degenerative spinal conditions resulting in lower back pain and sciatica. Surgical treatment options include microdiscectomy, lumbar fusion, total disc replacement, and other minimally invasive approaches. At present, microdiscectomy procedures are the most used technique; however, the annulus fibrosus is left with a defect that without treatment may contribute to high reherniation rates and changes in the biomechanics of the lumbar spine. This paper aims to review current commercially available products that mechanically close the annulus including the AnchorKnot® suture-passing device and the Barricaid® annular closure device. Previous studies and reviews have focused mainly on a biomimetic biomaterials approach and have described some mechanical and biological requirements for an active annular repair/regeneration strategy but are still far away from clinical implementation. Therefore, in this paper we aim to create a design specification for a mechanical annular closure strategy by identifying the most important mechanical and biological design parameters, including consideration of material selection, preclinical testing requirements, and requirements for clinical implementation.
Keywords: intervertebral disc; lumbar IVD herniation; annular closure device; design specification