Summer 2003 Issue

Artificial Disc May Replace Fusion As Treatment For Cervical Disc Herniations

The BRYAN® Cervical Disc System is designed to maintain the surgical benefits of an anterior approach to the spine. However, unlike fusion, the damaged disc is replaced with a prosthesis, which is designed to allow for motion at the treated level. The implant incorporates an elastic nucleus to theoretically provide shock absorption similar to the natural disc.
Spinal fusions for certain types of degenerative cervical disc disease may be obsolete in the future depending on the success of a clinical trial that will begin at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates this summer. The practice was selected as one of only 27 test sites in the country for the trial involving the Bryan® Cervical Disc System, an artificial disc designed to provide the motion and elastic characteristics of the natural cervical disc. The purpose of the study will be to determine the efficacy of the artificial disc in treating cervical disc herniation or spondylotic growth.

Currently, the most common form of surgery for treating degenerative disc disease in the neck is cervical disc removal followed by fusion, utilizing bone from the patient’s hip or a bone bank, or with a metallic tube. With this procedure, patients’ symptoms are relieved, but the fused vertebrae can limit neck movement and may put additional stress on the discs above and below the fusion.

In the near future, vertebral disc replacement may be as commonplace as knee and hip joint replacement is today,” said Dr. Coric. “Participation in future innovative studies like this one will allow Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates to remain at the forefront of the latest advancements in the treatment of spine disorders."

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