Summer 2007 Issue

Artificial Disc Innovations
Improving The Lives Of Patients With Degenerative Disc Disease

The advent of artificial spinal disc technology has opened new avenues of treatment for patients with degenerative disc disease. Since 2003, when Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates neurosurgeons implanted the first artificial disc in the Carolinas, our practice has remained a pioneer on both the local and national level in the field of artificial disc surgery.

Artificial discs are designed to be an alternative to spinal fusion surgery. While fusion can be effective in reducing a patient’s pain, this surgery limits range of motion. An advantage to using an artificial disc is that it not only allows a patient to maintain a larger range of motion, it decreases the stress placed on the discs above and below it.

Patients who receive a lumbar artificial disc can also expect a recovery period that is considerably shorter than with spinal fusion surgery. Generally, a two- to three-day hospital stay is required after lumbar artificial disc surgery and patients may return to work in only one to three months. With lumbar fusion surgery, patients usually require a three- to four-day hospital stay and usually cannot return to work for three to six months.

Our Practice Is At The Forefront Of A New Era In Artificial Disc Surgery
• Our neurosurgeons performed the first artificial cervical disc procedure in the Carolinas.
• We performed the first implantation of a lumbar artificial disc in North or South Carolina.
• Since 2003, our practice has performed as many cervical disc procedures as any practice in the country.
• We were the top enroller among trial sites in the Kineflex-C artificial disc study.
• Our surgeons were chosen to train other surgeons in how to perform artificial disc procedures.
• Our practice is currently participating in the new Discover™ artificial disc clinical trial.

The Reality Of Artificial Discs
A clinical trial is currently under way to study the effectiveness of the Discover artificial disc.
The new Prestige® disc was recently the first cervical disc to receive FDA approval. Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates neurosurgeons will serve as trainers to teach other physicians how to implant the device. This approval, along with previous approval of the Charité™ lumbar artificial disc, dem-onstrates how artificial disc technology has progressed from an experimental possibility to a viable reality.

Research continues to improve and refine the technology. Carolina Neuro-surgery & Spine Associates has participated in numerous national artificial disc studies and is currently involved with the new Discover™ artificial disc clinical trial for patients with degenerative disc disease in the cervical spine at two levels.

“Artificial disc technology is the future of spine surgery,” said Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates neurosurgeon Dom Coric, M.D. “I see a time in the not-too-distant future when disc
replacement will be viewed in the same way we look at knee or hip replacement today.”

To learn more about artificial discs and the spine services available at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, call 800-344-6716 or go to

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