Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Doctors Studying Next Generation Surgery For Back Pain Sufferers

Date:
January 14, 2004
Source:
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Summary:
Surgeons at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) are enrolling people with degenerative disc disease in a research study to determine if new artificial discs will have the long-term durability to safely provide increased range of motion and less strain on the adjacent discs than spinal fusion.

Surgeons at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) are enrolling people with degenerative disc disease in a research study to determine if new artificial discs will have the long-term durability to safely provide increased range of motion and less strain on the adjacent discs than spinal fusion.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of approximately 30 sites around the country testing the Maverick artificial disc made from cobalt-chrome alloy. Currently, three artificial discs are being investigated in the United States. The newest, the Maverick artificial disc, is different in that it has two rather than three components, which are both made of metal rather than using any plastics or polymers. Some studies have shown that plastics and polymers can eventually wear down, and the resulting debris and the subsequent tissue reaction to such debris is the primary factor limiting the longevity of joint replacements.

"Artificial joints in knees and hips have been around for decades, but progress in material engineering and refinement of surgical techniques finally mean we can attempt disc replacement in as critical a location as near the spinal cord," says Srdjan Mirkovic, M.D., a spine surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, assistant professor at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, and principal investigator for the study at NMH.

At Northwestern Memorial, the study is being done collaboratively with surgeons in both orthopedics and neurosurgery.

The Maverick lumbar disc is made from a cobalt-chrome alloy, a metal frequently used for orthopedic implants. When assembled, it can move side to side or back to front. "The concept is borrowed from a concept used in replacing joints in other parts of the body," says John Liu, M.D., a neurosurgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, assistant professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine and a co-investigator for the study. "The Maverick disc has no plastic parts and uses a simple design with only two moving parts. We expect this will decrease degradation of the disc and reduce problems with the mechanics of the disc."

Fusion, the current standard of care, is performed more than 200,000 times in the United States each year. "The reason we're looking for alternatives to fusion is that, while fusing two or more vertebrae in the spine together can eliminate pain, it does have drawbacks," explains Dr. Mirkovic. "The bone does not always heal or fuse correctly, and the recovery and rehabilitation periods are prolonged. The theory behind replacing the disc rather than using spinal fusion is that we may be able to preserve range of motion and decrease wear and tear at adjacent levels by distributing stress through the lower back."

As with fusion, the diseased disc is removed. Then, rather than fusing the surrounding vertebrae together, the Maverick artificial disc is inserted in its place. A calcium-rich substance anchors it in place. "The recovery may be quicker because we don't have to immobilize the lower back and wait for the bones to fully fuse as we do with fusion," explains co-investigator Matthew Hepler, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Northwestern Memorial and assistant professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine.

Discs are gel-like cushions between vertebrae that absorb shock and act like ball bearings when people bend and twist. Degenerative disc disease is part of the natural process of growing older. As people age, their intervertebral discs lose their flexibility, elasticity and shock absorbing characteristics. It is a common problem for athletes, but can affect anyone.

The Maverick artificial disc is an investigational device and is limited by federal law to investigational use. The research study will compare the outcomes of participants who receive an artificial disc with those of participants who have lumbar fusion. About two-thirds of study participants will receive the artificial disc and the rest will receive spinal fusion. Northwestern Memorial is enrolling participants who have failed conservative treatments such as medications and local injections for at least six months and who have pain originating from the disc itself. To learn more, please visit http://www.back.com/clinicaltrial or contact Northwestern Memorial's physician referral department at 312-926-8400 or 1-877-926-4NMH (4664).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "Doctors Studying Next Generation Surgery For Back Pain Sufferers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040114075942.htm>.
Northwestern Memorial Hospital. (2004, January 14). Doctors Studying Next Generation Surgery For Back Pain Sufferers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040114075942.htm
Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "Doctors Studying Next Generation Surgery For Back Pain Sufferers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040114075942.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins