Relieving Pain in the Neck

February 20, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
DALLAS (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Each year, more than 200,000 people in the United States have spinal fusion surgery to try to get rid of neck pain. The procedure usually helps, but can create other problems and limit motion.Even something as simple as backing up her car was once painful for Cathy Wooldridge.

"It was more like a crick in your neck all the time. It never went away," Wooldridge says.

Spinal surgeon John Peloza, M.D., located the source of Wooldridge's pain -- a degenerating disc in her neck. Surgery to fuse the vertebrae in the spine used to be one of the only options for patients, but now, there's this. Prestige is the first artificial disc approved for use in the neck. Surgeons remove the bad disc and attach the metal device to the neck bones, replacing the diseased disc.

"It has a ball on the top piece and a trough on the bottom piece, so it allows for motion that is very similar to normal motion of the spine. It moves back and forth two millimeters and it also allows for extension, flexion and rotation," says Dr. Peloza, spinal surgeon at The Center for Spine Care in Dallas.

It also relieves pain, restores function, and offers an easier recovery for patients.

"They don't require a brace. They don't require a bone graft, so there is no pain around the hips. So, they are pretty much released to full function immediately," Dr. Peloza says.

"I can go grocery shopping. I can go to the mall and I can do whatever I pretty much feel like doing without having to think about it," Wooldridge says.

Good candidates for this new disc are patients who have a single-level disc problem with neck and arm pain. Dr. Peloza does not recommend it for people with osteoporosis. In a recent study, patients who had the Prestige went back to work 26-percent sooner, compared to those who had traditional spinal fusion surgery.


John Peloza, M.D.
(877) 475-2240 or
(214) 378-7200