First FDA-Approved Artificial Cervical Disc Gives Neck Pain Sufferers Hope

Artificial Disc Replacement

Methodist Sugar Land Hospital's neurosurgeon, Rajesh Bindal, M.D., performed an artificial cervical disc replacement on a patient suffering from degenerative disc disease. This was the first procedure of this type to take place at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.

Cervical degenerative disc disease is a result of the natural aging process or trauma. When medical management is no longer effective, surgical repair is the patient's option to eliminate the pain as a result of the nerve compression. The disc is made of stainless steel and is comprised of two pieces that function like a joint, replicating the physiological alignment of a natural vertebral disc.

"The hour long surgery eases months of excruciating pain and allows these patients to regain normal movement of the neck and spine." Bindal said. "The design of the disc replicates the motion of a naturally functioning cervical spine, which reduces the recovery time from a few months to a couple of weeks."

Traditionally, spine fusion has been the standard for surgically treating disc herniation or degenerative disc disease. With the standard fusion surgery, a bone is grafted into place between the vertebral bodies where the damaged disc was removed. Even with a successful procedure, patients may still have a limited range of motion, and future degeneration can still occur around the fusion area.

With the FDA-approved artificial cervical disc, the metal-on-metal disc is placed into the intervertebral disc space where the damages disc is removed. Many times patients go home the same day as surgery and can often resume normal activities immediately. The key advantage for patients who receive a cervical artificial disc, rather than a fusion, is that their neck motion and mobility are not limited following surgery. Joe Rigsby, Dr. Bindal's patient and the first patient to receive an artificial cervical disc replacement at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital described the surgery by saying, "It was a wonderful experience, in which I was actually walking the day after surgery. "Mr. Rigsby also explained his care while at the hospital by adding, "The staff at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital really makes you feel like family. The care was great from pre-admit to recovery. I would recommend this hospital and Dr. Bindal to everyone."

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