Navigation Links
Artificial disc replacement as good or better than spinal fusion surgery
Date:2/27/2009

AUDIO: Spine surgeons at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis are reporting that artificial discs seem to be a viable alternative to traditional fusion surgery for...

Click here for more information.

Spine surgeons at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and other U.S. centers are reporting that artificial disc replacement works as well and often better than spinal fusion surgery.

The two procedures are performed on patients with damaged discs in the neck.

Researchers found patients who received an artificial disc lost less motion in the neck and recovered faster than those who had a disc removed and the bones of the spine fused.

"Those who received the artificial disc either did equally as well or a little bit better than those who had fusion surgery," says K. Daniel Riew, M.D., a cervical spine surgeon at Washington University Orthopedics and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. "One of the most important findings was that people who got the artificial disc were able to preserve all of their motion."

A disc in the spine is similar to a jelly donut, with a squishy center surrounded by a tough outer portion. It functions like a shock absorber between the vertebrae. When a disc ruptures, or becomes herniated, the squishy disc tissue can spread into the spinal canal and press against nerves, causing numbness, weakness or pain.

For years, the surgery to treat cervical disc disease relieved pressure by removing the offending disc and then fusing the bones of the spine together. Surgery to implant an artificial disc also removes the damaged disc, but instead of using metal rods, screws and bone grafts to fuse bones together, the surgeon replaces the disc with an implant.

Patients in the study were randomly assigned to receive either the BRYAN Cervical Disc or standard fusion surgery. Ultimately, 242 received the artificial disc, and 221 had spinal fusion. Improvement following surgery was measured with a tool called the neck disability index (NDI). Two years post surgery, patients in both groups had improved NDI scores. Both had less neck and arm pain and were less likely to experience numbness. Overall, the surgery was rated as successful in 83 percent of the patients who received artificial discs and 73 percent of those who had fusion surgery (230 vs. 194). Part of that difference, Riew says, can be explained by better motion in the neck for those who had artificial discs implanted.

He says the neck is always slightly restricted following spinal fusion surgery. Since bones in the neck have been fused together, it is impossible to regain full range of motion. But the defect is subtle.

"Fusion adds a small amount of stress in the spine above and below the fusion site, so bone can break down a little faster than normal," Riew explains. "If the patient is a young person, then they may need another operation in 20 or 30 years. The hope with artificial cervical disc replacement is the preserved motion may protect against additional stress at other levels of the spine."

In the short term, Riew says most patients receiving artificial disc replacement surgery recovered faster and got back to normal life sooner than fusion surgery patients.

"They didn't need to wear a neck brace after surgery," he says. "If they had a job, they returned to work faster. And many had a resolution of their pain faster than fusion patients. With a spinal fusion, there are some pain and activity restrictions until the bone is fully incorporated, but with an artificial disc, as soon as the disc is in, it's 'good to go.'"

Riew, the Mildred B. Simon Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, professor of neurological surgery and chief of the cervical spine service for Washington University Orthopedics, says people from outdoorsmen to couch potatoes have seemed to do well following implantation of artificial discs. Last summer, he implanted an artificial disc into a professional baseball player's cervical spine. That player plans to return to the diamond and continue his career this season.

But at the moment, the discs are not an option for some patients. Those with arthritis or disc disease at multiple levels in the spine are not good candidates. A barrier for those who are good candidates is that many insurance companies don't yet cover them.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Dryden
jdryden@wustl.edu
314-286-0110
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New Technology May Boost Artificial Arms
2. Weizmann Institute scientists create working artificial nerve networks
3. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey(R) Proudly Announces Its First Elephant Calf Born From Artificial Insemination
4. Bi-Coastal Pharmaceutical Corp. Acquires U.S. Marketing Rights to Aquoral(TM) Artificial Saliva Product
5. AMA Supports Ban of Artificial Trans Fats in Restaurants and Bakeries Nationwide
6. Archus Orthopedics Performs First Facet Replacement Procedure With an Artificial Disc
7. Breast Cancer Action Targets Yoplait in Think Before You Pink Campaign; Calls for Yogurt Without Artificial Hormones
8. Researchers design model for automated, wearable artificial kidney
9. Photos: Los Angeles Non Profit Teams With US Troops Stationed in Baghdad and Buaytha in Bringing a 5-Year-Old Blind Iraqi Girl, Whose Father Stands Beside US Combat Team Against Al Qaeda, to the US for a Groundbreaking Artificial Corneal Transplant Surger
10. Fertility Doctors: Studies Suggest Artificial Insemination Increasingly Second Choice
11. Bioartificial Kidney Cuts Death Risk, Improves Outcomes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 20, 2017 , ... ... further expand its existing adherence automation lines. The ATP® Mini and InspectRx® ... technology of TCG’s standard products, but at a size and price point that ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 20, 2017 , ... ... since 2014, top travel insurance solution company VisitorsCoverage Inc. has launched TMQuotes, a ... major international travel insurance products online, under their own brand. The online marketplace ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A local summer theatre camp is celebrating ... support fine arts programs in Chester County’s Elementary Schools. In late June, students ... , More than 850 people attended the two performances, an increase from ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 19, 2017 , ... Med Tech ... the Minnesota based Health IT business unit of Constellation Inc., a move that will ... established base of operations in St. Louis, the acquisition is expected to help ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 19, 2017 , ... A July 5th ... weight loss surgery patients who had received a body contouring procedure reported experiencing a ... clinic Beverly Hills Physicians (BHP), which provides both types of procedures, notes that this ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/13/2017)... July 13, 2017  Centurion Medical Products, a leader in medical ... ® fecal impaction removal device for hospice patient care. ... Centurion Medical Products ... Patient pain management and emotional comfort are ... help alleviate patient pain while preventing unneeded emergency department admission due ...
(Date:7/12/2017)... Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ) has entered ... patent litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern ... ® (tadalafil) unit dose patent. This patent was previously ... the agreement, Cialis exclusivity is now expected to end at ... dose patent for Cialis is valid and infringed by companies ...
(Date:7/11/2017)... July 11, 2017  Sysmex America, Inc., a ... testing equipment as well as middleware information systems ... to make quality assurance easier and more risk ... well known for the innovation that it delivers ... elevates quality assurance processes to a new level ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: