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2-year results: Artificial disc a viable alternative to fusion for 2-level disc disease
Date:5/20/2011

nced more rapid improvement.

Discs act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) of the spine. When healthy, they have enough "give" to allow the back to be flexible but they are firm enough to provide stability. With age or injury, they can lose their pliability and density. Nerves may become pinched between the bones, causing pain not just in the spine but in other parts of the body.

Fusion surgery is intended to relieve symptoms of degenerative disc disease by removing the damaged disc and replacing it with bone. Rods and screws are attached to the spine to hold the bones in place while the vertebrae grow together (fuse). Studies show these procedures often can be effective in certain situations but there can be drawbacks: fused sections of the spine can lose their flexibility, potentially impeding normal movement and putting greater stress on the surrounding discs. The adjacent discs then can be prone to injury, often requiring more fusion surgery.

Artificial discs are designed to maintain natural spine movement. They may reduce the need for follow-up surgery.

"Although our data extend two years out from surgery, fully evaluating the benefits or disadvantages of either procedure will require longer follow-up to detect adjacent-level disc degeneration and possible device wear," said Delamarter, who joined Cedars-Sinai in 2009.

In a commentary on the article in the same journal, Andrew J. Schoenfeld, MD, of the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, said the authors "are to be commended for an important work that contributes substantially to the growing literature regarding total disc replacement. While it has limitations, the work of Delamarter et al. should be recognized as the first prospective, randomized study on two-level total disc replacement and one that highlights short-term clinical advantages for the procedure, such as accelerated rehabilitation and enhanced pain relief."


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Contact: Sandy Van
sandy@prpacific.com
808-526-1708
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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