Results of ProDisc-C Disc Replacement after One-YearUntil recently, cervical spine fusion has been the treatment of choice for degenerative disc disease (DDD) in the neck. Artificial disc replacement (ADR) may be changing the treatment options for this condition.
The advantage of an ADR over spinal fusion is that the implant preserves neck motion. The idea is to maintain cervical spine motion for as long as possible. ADR may improve long-term outcomes for DDD over fusion.
In this study from Germany, patients treated for cervical spine DDD with fusion were compared to an equal number of patients who got an ADR instead. Fusion was done using a procedure called an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF).
A special X-ray machine called roentgen stereometric analysis (RSA) was used to measure motion in the neck. RSA readings were taken right after surgery and again at 3, 6, 12, 24, and 52 weeks. Other measures used to compare the results included pain levels and neurologic symptoms.
The results showed that pain was reduced equally well with either treatment. Spine motion was much greater in the ADR group. Over time, cervical spine motion did decrease in the implant group. They still had much more motion than the fusion group.
The authors conclude that cervical disc replacement accomplishes its goals of pain relief while preserving motion. Positive outcomes were still present one year after the surgery. Longer follow-up studies are needed. For now, the first step has been accomplished.
Addullah Nabhan, MD. The ProDisc-C Prosthesis. Clinical and Radiological Experience 1 Year After Surgery. In Spine. August 15, 2007. Vol. 32. No. 18. Pp. 1935-1941.
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