Adena Health Focus March 13, 2018

Artificial Disc Replacement: Adena’s Innovative Option for Back and Neck Pain

Back and neck pain are among today’s most common health problems. In fact, most people experience back and/or neck pain at some point in their lives. Normal aging and some physically demanding occupations often cause discs to wear out. Bad posture and poor movement can also speed up this process.

As the discs in our backs and necks age, they can bulge and compress spinal nerves. As a result, approximately 1.1 million patients a year, in the United States, seek relief from symptomatic cervical disc disease. This condition can significantly affect a person’s ability to sleep, work, drive, exercise and perform many other critical functions of daily life.

 Relief for many of these patients has come from neck fusion surgery that has been around since the 1960s. Now surgeons, like Adena Spine Center’s James Fleming Jr., MD are offering patients a new option for a pain-free life.

 Patients who have tired nonsurgical treatments, such as physical therapy and steroid injections, but are still having back or neck pain due to herniated or bulging discs may benefit from Adena’s Mobi-C artificial disc replacement procedure.

“I would definitely recommend this procedure to anyone; and looking back on my experience, I would have done it sooner,” said Jennifer Swain, an Adena Surgical Technician who suffered from a bulging disc in her neck. “Here I am almost a year out and I have no problems. To be pain free when you wake up from surgery, back to work with no limitations, and to have full range of motion still in my neck - it is awesome.”

Swain’s path towards artificial disc replacement began when she woke up one morning with what she thought was just a stiff neck. Days later, the pain increased to where she was losing function in her right arm, limiting even simple tasks like brushing her hair and teeth and driving. X-ray results showed the bulging disc. As an operating room scrub tech, Jennifer’s first assumption was this meant fusion surgery.

“I’m thinking, ‘I am 35. I don’t want to have my neck fused. I’m way too young for this,’” she said. “I didn’t want to opt for fusion surgery and have to be turning like a mannequin.”

That’s when Dr. Fleming presented the Mobi-C Cervical Disc as an alternative to spine fusion and told Swain she was the perfect candidate.

 “It is the right thing to do for our patients,” explained Dr. Fleming. “Artificial disc replacement shows promise with alleviating pain and lessening the chances of future problems at adjacent levels of the spine. With disc fusion, patients lose range of motion because two bones are being fused together. With artificial disc replacement, patients retain their range of motion and that natural space between vertebrae by replacing the diseased disc with an artificial one. Mobi-C is the first cervical disc prosthesis the FDA has approved for both one and two-level indications.”

 “I have been in the operating room with Dr. Fleming on many occasions and I have confidence in him,” Jennifer added. “I trusted what he was telling me.

Jennifer has been so pleased with her results she has since assisted on two more of Dr. Fleming’s Mobi-C procedures. She even speaks with patients prior to their surgeries to ease any of their fears.

Adena is only Health System in the region to offer the Mobi-C Cervical Disc procedure as a treatment option for patients.  If you or a loved one has had back or neck pain for more than a few weeks, a spine assessment can provide you with a diagnosis and treatment plan. To learn what you expect with an assessment, go to www.adena.org/spineassessment. If you are ready to schedule an assessment, call the Adena Spine Center at 740-779-7100.