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Cervical Disc Surgery

Conemaugh Physician Group – Neurosurgery
1111 Franklin Street
Johnstown, PA 15905
Phone: (814) 534-5724

The cervical spine has discs between each bone that provide cushioning for movements and body loads. The discs and bones in a healthy neck allow bending from side-to-side and front-to-back, and turning left-to-right. Disc problems can start from over-use, an accident, or just the wear and tear of daily life.  Degenerative changes in the discs may result in damage that can cause pain. When a disc degenerates it can have tears or cracks that lose water, which cause it to become thinner and provide less padding to absorb movement. Degenerated discs can also bulge (herniate) and pinch the spinal cord or nerves, which causes loss of feeling, weakness, pain, or tingling down the arms and hands.

Patients at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center have access to a surgical option for cervical disc replacement utilizing a novel medical device approved by the FDA. The Mobi-C Cervical Disc is the first and only cervical disc replacement approved by the FDA to treat more than one level of the cervical spine. Surgery with Mobi-C Cervical Disc at two levels allows surgeons to replace diseased discs in the neck while maintaining neck motion for the patient.

Traditionally these patients would have received a fusion. Fusion surgery, while also replacing diseased discs in the neck, is designed to stop movement at the operated levels. This new option allows patients to heal more quickly and has also been shown to reduce the need for additional surgeries.

In October 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the five-year clinical results, confirming Mobi-C at two-levels demonstrated superiority over fusion based on overall study success. Those patients who received two-level cervical disc replacement during the trial returned to work on average three weeks earlier as compared to the fusion patients. At five years, the Mobi-C patients also had lower rates of subsequent surgeries and reduced rates of ongoing degeneration at spinal segments adjacent to the surgery compared to fusion.

This procedure is covered by most insurance.