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Spine Institute of Louisiana Offers Cervical Spine Motion Preservation as an Alternative to Fusion Surgery
Date:9/12/2007

KATRINA EVACUEE BENEFITS FROM FIRST EVER TWO-LEVEL TOTAL DISC REPLACEMENT

PERFORMED IN LOUISIANA

SHREVEPORT, La., Sept. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Spine Institute of Louisiana, in conjunction with SpineMark Corporation, is now offering cervical spine motion preservation procedures as an alternative to the traditional fusion surgery typically used for cervical spine damage. To provide patients with alternative surgical options, Spine Institute of Louisiana is now enrolling patients in several clinical trials using motion preservation spinal devices aimed at maintaining natural movement. As part of this initiative, Dr. Pierce Nunley, medical director of the institute, recently performed the first ever two-level total disc replacement of the neck in the state of Louisiana.

Spinal fusion has been the standard surgical care for numerous spine conditions such as scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, instability of the spine or spinal fractures. Unlike spinal fusion, which achieves pain relief through immobilization, artificial discs maintain motion at the operative level once the damaged disc has been removed. Furthermore, artificial disc replacements provide a more rapid return to activity than fusion surgery, which requires time for the bone graft to grow into a solid mass for stabilization.

One such motion preservation trial involving patients with degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine, commonly known as a herniated, ruptured or slipped disc, involves the replacement of the diseased disc with an artificial disc. In a special case that qualified for treatment within the study, Dr. Nunley conducted a two-level replacement -- a procedure that replaces two damaged discs sitting atop one another -- the first ever in the state of Louisiana. The beneficiary of this investigational procedure is Darrel Betha, a 46-year-old hurricane Katrina evacuee who had been suffering from neck and arm pain since 2004 following a work
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SOURCE SpineMark Corporation
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