Disc Replacement After Cervical FusionIf you've already had neck surgery but the pain in your neck comes back, what are your options? Surgeons are starting to look at using artificial discs, an operation called cervical arthroplasty. These are the early results of one study.
Fifteen (15) patients with neck or arm symptoms from cervical disc disease already had at least one operation on the cervical spine. The Bryan artificial disc was implanted. Most patients got one disc but a few needed disc replacement in up to three levels. All discs were inserted anteriorly (from the front of the neck).
All patients did well after surgery. There was an overall improvement in symptoms compared to before surgery. Almost everyone said the surgery was worth it, and they would do it again if given the choice over again. The authors review in detail each patient who had problems of any kind.
The authors conclude that artificial discs can be used for the neck even after previous operations in the same area. Patients who've had cervical fusion with new symptoms from the disc above or below the fusion seem to have the best results. Younger patients are ideal candidates for this operation.
Lali H. S. Sekhon, MD, PhD, FRACS, et al. Cervical Arthroplasty After Previous Surgery: Results of Treating 24 Discs in 15 Patients. In Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. November 2005. Vol. 3. No. 5. Pp. 335-341.
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