First Hybrid Cervical Spine Surgery in the Country Is Performed

Dr. Thomas C. Schuler, Spinal Surgeon at the Virginia Spine Institute, Leads Latest Advancement in Spinal Health Care With First Hybrid Multi-Level Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement With Fusion in the Country (Utilizing the Bryan(R) Cervical Artificial Disc)

RESTON, VA --(Marketwire - January 16, 2013) - Dr. Thomas C. Schuler, Chief Executive Officer and Spinal Surgeon at the Virginia Spine Institute, is the first spinal surgeon in the country to perform a hybrid multi-level cervical artificial disc replacement with spinal fusion. This innovative and complex procedure is the first viable treatment option to resolve a combination of degenerative disc disease and herniated discs with normal discs interspersed. While this multifaceted procedure has been utilized in Europe for numerous years, Dr. Schuler remains on the forefront of spinal health innovation by bringing this advancement to the United States. This novel procedure was performed at Reston Hospital Center. The Bryan® cervical artificial disc is approved by the FDA.

"I am proud to be the first spinal surgeon in the country to perform this complex and innovative procedure stabilizing the spine while sparing normal discs and preserving motion. Advances like this will continue to bring the highest quality of spinal health care to patients, alleviating pain and getting them back to their families, and their lives that much faster," comments Dr. Thomas C. Schuler. 

This intricate procedure treats herniated discs, as well as severely degenerated discs, interspersed with normal discs. This innovative hybrid construct procedure included the following, performed through a small incision in the front of the neck:

1. Artificial disc placed at the top of the patient's neck (C3-4). 
2. The next level (C4-5) was healthy and left un-operated.
3. The following level (C5-6), which was severely unstable and degenerative, therefore was fused.
4. The lowest level (C6-7), which contained a herniated disc, received an artificial disc.

The advantage of combining these technologies is that it preserves normal motion and function. The artificial discs preserve normal motion and decrease stress on the adjacent healthy discs, reducing damage to nearby discs and joints. Post surgical care and risks are similar to those that occur with traditional spinal surgery, although recovery has been known to be faster with a reduced amount of post surgical pain. The unique nature of the Bryan® cervical artificial disc is that, to date, it most similarly mimics that of a natural human disc with titanium endplates encasing a polyurethane center and saline cushion.

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Contact Information:

Erin Orr
Communications Director 
Virginia Spine Institute
Tel: 703.709.1114 x 180

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