Artificial Disc Replacement for Cervical SpineCervical spine (neck) fusion is the standard surgical treatment for severe neck pain and joint stiffness. The operation works well enough but there are some problems. New technology has made it possible to use a disc replacement in the cervical spine. This study reports the results of early trials using the ProDisc-C implant.
Sixteen patients with severe neck pain from degenerative disc disease were included. Some patients also had pain going down the arm. Others had signs of spinal cord compression such as numbness, tingling, and weakness. The disc was removed from one or two levels and the ProDisc-C inserted in the disc space.
Patients were questioned about pain levels, analgesic use for pain, and overall satisfaction during the first year after the operation. Pain was measured based on intensity and frequency. Before and after X-rays were also taken.
The researchers asked three questions:
The results showed:
measured between 3 weeks and 12 months. The pain returned to the lower level present
during the first three weeks.
radiating arm pain. The reduced pain levels continued at 12 months.
The authors conclude that this early study on a small number of patients shows the ProDisc-C device is safe and effective. Disc implant may replace neck fusion if the long-term results are equally good.
Rudolf Bertagnoli, MD, et al. Early Results After ProDisc-C Cervical Disc Replacement. In Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. April 2005. Vol. 2. Pp. 403-410.
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