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National Insurance Carriers Now Cover Artificial Cervical Disc Surgery
Date:7/13/2009

fusion was night and day. "In 1996, I was in the hospital for five days and in a neck brace for two months. This time, I was out of the hospital and walking immediately, and the pain was completely gone within four days."

U.S. health insurers, too, see the same benefits in artificial cervical disc surgery that Virginia did. As a result, today they are extending coverage to a broad base of customers.

Now 200,000 Americans with spinal disorders have potential access through insurers such as Aetna, various BlueCross BlueShield plans and Broadspire to artificial disc surgery instead of the conventional cervical spinal fusion surgery. Other insurance carriers may approve the innovative procedure on a case-by-case basis. (A complete list of insurance companies with positive coverage decisions for the cervical artificial disc as of April 2009 can be found on the CINN website.)

Currently, the most common surgical treatment for patients with degenerative discs in the cervical spine is spinal fusion. In this procedure, a surgeon removes the damaged disc, then implants a bone graft and metal plate to fuse the vertebrae together. Challenges of spinal fusion include longer recovery time, pain management and the possibility of adjacent-level surgery in the future.

During artificial disc replacement surgery, the damaged disc is removed and rep
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