Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


UCSF analysis shows newer surgery for neck pain may be better

A new surgery for cervical disc disease in the neck may restore range of motion and reduce repeat surgeries in some younger patients, according to a team of neurosurgeons from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and several other medical centers that analyzed three large, randomized clinical trials comparing two different surgeries.

More than 200,000 Americans undergo surgery every year to alleviate pain and muscle weakness from the debilitating condition caused by herniated discs in the neck. For some, the team found, arthroplasty may work better.

The results do not suggest that the older surgery is ineffective or unsafe, but that arthroplasty is a viable option for some.

"For people younger than 50 who have cervical disc disease, arthroplasty is a good option," said Praveen Mummaneni, MD, of the Department of Neurosurgery at UCSF.

Mumaneni and his colleagues are presenting their analysis today at the 79th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in Denver.

Why Fewer Is Better

Neck surgery is not cheap and requires a patient to be placed under general anesthesia and a surgical team to perform the operation in a sterile room. They are typically reserved for patients who have failed to respond to other measures such as physical therapy or drugs, such as steroids.

For decades, the standard of care in this country was a procedure called anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. In this surgery, a surgeon cuts through the front of the neck, accessing the spine and removing the herniated disc, then replacing it with a piece of bone and a plate in the neck. That creates a solid union – or fusion – between two or more vertebrae to strengthen the spine.

Arthroplasty also begins with a surgery to remove the herniated disc. But instead of fusing the spine, the surgeon replaces the missing disc with an artificial one made of steel, plastic or titanium. The idea is that the artificial disc will provide more spine mobility after surgery and less stress on adjacent discs.

While arthroplasty has become more widely used in the United States since the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approved several models of artificial discs in the last few years, it is still performed less often than in Europe, where the procedure has been available for more than a decade.

Here in the United States, the older, surgical fusion technique remains more common – in part because not all insurance companies pay for the newer procedure, as is the case in California.

Both techniques have occasional failures. In the fusion surgery, the bone may not heal, requiring further fusion surgery months or years later. In the arthroplasty surgery, the artificial disk may loosen or not fit well and may need to be replaced.

"Surprising" Results

The new analysis looked at three randomized clinical trials that enrolled 1,213 patients with cervical disc disease at medical centers across the United States – including UCSF.

In the trials, 621 patients received an artificial cervical disc and 592 patients were treated with spinal fusion. The analysis looked at outcomes two years after surgery.

The results were surprising, Mummaneni said: "While the two-year surgical results for both techniques were excellent, the rate of repeat surgery is lower for arthroplasty than for fusion at the two-year timepoint."

Jason Socrates Bardi | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>