High-Tech Artificial Spinal Disc Replacement Newest Treatment for an Aching Back
Physicians in the University of Maryland Department of Orthopaedics treat a
complete range of spinal pathologies. Using a wide array of treatment modalities
in a coordinated approach, physicians offer patients a full spectrum of treatment
In addition to traditional methods, the most cutting-edge sophisticated surgical
techniques are employed to return patients to the highest level of function
Degenerative disc disease with low back pain is among the most common reasons for disability among adults.
Patients with degenerative disc disease in the lumbar spine have a choice of
medical and surgical treatment options, including a new artificial disc called
Artificial knee and hip replacements may be commonplace,
but Charité is the first spinal disc replacement approved by the FDA to treat
patients with single-level degenerative disc disease.
In the past, surgical options for degenerative disc disease included traditional
discectomy or spinal fusion surgery. Now, orthopaedic surgeons at the University
of Maryland are using the Charité artificial spinal disc. It is a high-tech
device made of metal and pliable plastic that allows patients to maintain flexibility.
"It is the first motion preserving alternative to lumbar spinal fusion surgery,"
explains Daniel Gelb,
M.D., professor of orthopaedics at the University of Maryland
School of Medicine. University of Maryland orthopaedic surgeons have been specially trained in using Charité.
Rear view of the lumbar spine with the Charité artificial disc.
Lumbar spinal fusion surgery is a common surgical treatment
for low back pain or degenerative disc disease. While it is often effective
in reducing pain, the surgery puts additional stress on the remaining mobile
segments that may lead to adjacent segment degeneration and recurrence of symptoms.
"Results from a two year clinical study of 375 patients showed that those
with the artificial disc improved or maintained their range of motion and experienced
less pain sooner compared with patients who had spinal fusion," says Steven
Ludwig, M.D., assistant professor of orthopaedics at the University of Maryland
School of Medicine. "Another advantage is that patients who have Charité
have a faster recovery."
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