Barricaid ®

Are you suffering from a slipped disc in your lower back and would you consider surgery? Then you may be eligible for surgery with Barricaid ® prosthesis. It is an innovative implant that can reduce the risk of a repeated slipped disc after a discectomy to a minimum. The operation takes place as part of a study or not. The department of Neurosurgery in OLV Hospital Aalst is one of the 40 centres worldwide that is allowed to place this prosthesis.

For more information, please contact :

+32 (0)53 / 72 43 73
Dr. Martens or Dr. Lesage

What is a slipped disc?

The lumbar (=loin) vertebra consists of five discs: the intervertebral discs. These discs act as shock absorbers for the spine; they absorb shocks and tension in everyday physical movement. Each disc has an outer ring called the annulus, which consists of several layers of strong fibrous tissue that can be compared to a car tyre. Inside this 'tyre' there is a core, called the nucleus.


You have a slipped disc in the spinal column if the annulus tears, because of which part of the nucleus can bulge or fully come out (click here for the different types of slipped discs). Due to this outward force, there can be pressure on the nearby nerves that can cause pain, weakness or numbness in the legs and lower back, which is also known as sciatica.

What are your possible treatment options?

For many patients, a non-operative or conservative treatment will suffice to gradually get rid of the symptoms caused by a slipped disc. This treatment consists of a combination of rest, physiotherapy and/or anti inflammatory drugs. However, if the pain or numbness persists despite these treatments, then the doctor may recommend surgery.

Microscopic or endoscopic discectomy

A discectomy is the most common operative treatment of a slipped disc in the spinal column. This operation consists of removing the slipped disc to decrease pressure against nerve and thus relieve the symptoms. However, when this slipped disc is removed, an opening generally remains, i.e. a defect in the wall of the annulus. It is possible that the remaining nucleus sticks out again after a discectomy because of this defect or a different weakened part of the annulus. This is called a relapsed slipped disc and is often a problem in case of a conventional discectomy because it can cause symptoms again and make another operation necessary.

Discectomy with the Barricaid ® prosthesis

Spinal column specialists are currently examining a new technique to limit the chance of developing or even fully avoiding a relapsed slipped disc. This technique uses an innovative implant, the Barricaid ® prosthesis. Our centre is one of the 40 centres worldwide that is allowed to place this prosthesis.


The Barricaid ® prosthesis is placed during the operation before removing the slipped disc. The Barricaid ® implant is placed immediately after the discectomy, exactly in the area of the defected annulus and strongly attached to the adjoining bone. This creates a barrier that can prevent the chance of a repeated slipped disc. Attaching the Barricaid ® prosthesis is a short-term intervention that is carried out as part of a discectomy.

Possible advantages of a discectomy with Barricaid ®

  • Is carried out as part of a standard operative discectomy, no additional operation is required
  • Is placed in the exact place of the defect
  • Forms a barrier for a possible repeated slipped disc in the area of the defect
  • Improved functioning and pain relieving

About the clinical study into the use of the Barricaid ® prosthesis

Has a slipped disc been ascertained in your lower back and are you considering a discectomy? Then you may be a suitable candidate for a microscopic slipped disc operation, possibly in combination with a Barricaid ® prosthesis.

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