Monday, December 11, 2006
Medical Reports: Pain in the Neck
A herniated disc can happen in a split second and the pain can seem endless. But now South Florida is one of the first test sights for a new artificial disc that could give patients a normal life. 7's Richard Lemus shows us this new procedure to get rid of a pain in the neck.
WSVN -- From traffic jams to a non-stop telephone, daily life can be a pain in the neck.
But for millions of people like Gregg Sigman, a pain in the neck is much more than a nuisance.
Gregg Sigman: "The most severe pain was right at my neck and then it went down into my shoulders."
Gregg lives for coaching his two little girls, but a herniated disc had sidelined him.
Gregg Sigman: "I was physically getting sick, throwing up because the pain was so severe."
That is because a disc had moved from its normal position in the spine, pinching a nerve.
In the past, if non-surgical treatments did not work, doctors would actually remove the disc and fuse the two vertebrae together.
But now there is the Neo-Disc, and the South Florida Spine Clinic is the first in the area to join FDA in a trial on this artificial disc replacement.
Dr. Kalman Blumberg: "I believe that it will be a complete revolution where we will not be doing fusions any longer but we will be doing disc replacements."
During the surgery the old disc is removed and is replaced with the Neo-Disc.
It's made of silicone and cloth which is expected to give patients a more natural motion.
Dr. Kalman Blumberg: "This allows motion to continue in the cervical spine like you see here, rather than these two pieces being fused as of one solid section and there be no motion at all between them."
The surgery takes about an hour and patients are able to go home that same day.
You will have to wear a neck brace for a couple of weeks but a faster recovery is expected.
Dr. Kalman Blumberg: "What we are hoping to prove with this study is the patient will be able to return to their active lifestyle much quicker than with the old procedure."
Gregg was the first patient in South Florida to have the Neo-Disc replacement.
One week later, he is already back to cheering on his girls.
Gregg Sigman: "I'm excited about getting active again and getting with the girls, playing softball, doing my running and doing whatever it is."
Doctors will follow patients in the trial for the next two years. FDA approval of the Neo-Disc is expected in about three to four years.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
South Florida Spine Clinic
3000 Bayview Drive
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306