Winter 2004 Issue

Practice Neurosurgeon Is First In The Carolinas To Utilize Artificial Disc Device For Treatment Of Ruptured Discs

The implanted artificial disc is designed to provide shock absorption and allow a more natural range of motion.
An innovative new surgical procedure utilizing an artificial disc to treat degenerative disc disease (ruptured disc) was performed for the first time in both North and South Carolina by Dom Coric, M.D., a neurosurgeon with Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates in Charlotte.

Dr. Coric led a surgical team, including Dr. Tim Adamson, at Carolinas Medical Center in the implantation of the Bryan® Cervical Disc prosthesis into a 43-year-old woman at the C5-6 level. The procedure took approximately two hours and went extremely well, with the patient being discharged from the hospital the following day.

The procedure is part of a national clinical trial under way at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates to determine the effectiveness of the Bryan artificial disc in treating ruptured cervical discs or degenerative disc disease. The artificial disc was designed to provide the motion and elastic characteristics of the natural cervical disc. Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates is the only group in the region, and one of only 21 sites in the United States, participating in the Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study. Data from this study will be used in support of a future approval by the FDA for use in the US.

“We are proud to be involved in the first implantation of a Bryan artificial disc in the Carolinas,” said Dr. Coric. “This device may become standard practice in the future if this study shows that the potential patient benefits of the artificial disc exceed those of the current anterior cervical fusion procedure.”

Dom Coric, M.D.
Currently, anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) with anterior plate stabilization, is the most common surgical procedure for the cervical spine. Bone from the patient’s hip or a bone bank is utilized with metallic instrumentation. This procedure relieves patients’ symptoms, but usually limits neck movement and may place additional stress on the discs above and below the fusion.

The Bryan Cervical Disc System is designed to eventually replace ACDF. 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.

First Disc Implantation Shows Initial Success

One Friday this summer, 43-year-old Sydney Jenkins woke up with what she called a really bad crick in her neck. By Saturday night, she couldn’t sleep at all, but still decided to leave for a family vacation on Sunday. The trip was cut short on Wednesday when she had to come home because of the incredible pain.

“It was like having labor pain that started in my shoulder and went all the way to the tips of my fingers,” said Sydney. “When pain medications and steroids didn’t help, I underwent an MRI which showed the ruptured disc in my neck. Then I was referred to Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates.”

After examining Sydney and reviewing her MRI results, Dr. Coric believed she was a candidate for the Bryan disc study. He explained the procedure and how it differed from ACDF. “It didn’t take long to make my decision,” said Sydney. “I signed up right away.”

“The difference in pain is like night and day.”
- Artificial disc patient, Sydney Jenkins

Sydney was the first person in the Carolinas to receive a Bryan artificial disc, and so far her results have been excellent. Sydney is still experiencing post-operative soreness in her neck and shoulders, but has high praise for the procedure.

“Everyone was so nice and everything about the operation went well,” said Sydney.

We're Expanding The Future Of Spine Surgery

Over a quarter of a million spinal fusions are performed annually in the United States, and the numbers will continue to increase due to the aging population. The Bryan Cervical Disc System represents a potential breakthrough in the treatment options available to these patients.

“This technology is the future of spine surgery and represents a revolution in fusion procedures,” said Dr. Coric. “I’m proud our practice was selected to participate in this groundbreaking study. In addition to investigating this artificial cervical disc, we will continue to explore the latest technologies in treating spine disorders.”

For more information about the Bryan Cervical Disc System clinical trial, call 866-508-7425. To contact Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, call 704-376-1605.

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