Inside Medicine Volume 3 Issue 17

Page 8

Cervical Disc Replacement M6 Javier Reto, MD, was the first surgeon in Alabama to implant the M6 artificial disc replacement for the cervical spine. By Javier Reto, MD

Neck pain occurs in approximately 2 out of every 3 adults throughout their lifetime and chronically in 15% of the population at any one time. As a result, treatments for neck pain have become increasingly utilized. Thankfully, the vast majority of folks that experience neck pains recover uneventfully. For the subset that require further assistance, physical therapy and over the counter anti-inflammatory medicines, e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen may be necessary to aid in recovery. Interventions such as injections and prescription medications typically become next-step options if needed. Finally, we consider surgery for those unfortunate enough to fail all measures. There are a significant number of younger people identified, typically falling into 20-50 age range, that become surgical candidates. In the past, these folks were given the option of living with the pain, repeat injections or neck fusion surgery. Neck fusions, where two adjacent vertebra are fused together with intervening disc entirely removed, have been a time-proven and quite successful option for reducing or eliminating pain. However, these surgeries come at the expense of eliminating motion at the particular level or levels involved. In the long run, the loss of motion increases stresses at adjacent disc levels and can lead to more surgery in 20-30% of patients.


As a spine surgeon I am invested in finding both innovative and effective options that function best for patients in all age ranges. As such, options like the M6 device which provides accurate reproduction of motion in all planes, including compression, can be a better option than the typical fusion.�


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