Artificial Disc Replacement
Artificial disc replacement can also be conducted which allows the flexibility of the spine to be maintained in contrast to the stiffness that can occur with spinal fusion procedures. The stress on surrounding tissues and discs is also lessened using disc replacement, thereby reducing the risks of vertebral fracture and degeneration. A number of different technologies are in use in the US, and some surgeons have been using the technique in Europe since the 1990s. Various artificial disc models include the Prodisc-C™ by Synthes Spine Solutions and the PCM cervical artificial disc by Cervitech, both of which have undergone clinical trials to assess their risks and benefits. The Bryan™ Cervical Disc Prosthesis by Medtronic Sofamor Danek is a different type of artificial disk made from metal and polyurethane like the others but designed to maintain motion and act as a shock absorber. Clinical trials of the Bryan model found nearly all patients to have excellent or good outcomes at their last follow-up. The majority of patients had their flexion and extension neck motion maintained, and no significant incidence of subsidence or migration of the devices has been documented.