Dr. McConnell Presents at Congress of Neurological Surgeons

January 08, 2018

At the October, 2017 Congress of Neurological Surgeons meeting in Boston, Jeffrey McConnell, MD, gave a presentation entitled: “Long-term Outcomes of Arthroplasty for Cervical Myelopathy versus Radiculopathy, And Dr. Jeffrey McConnellArthroplasty versus Arthrodesis for Cervical Myelopathy”
The study results were significant because the conclusion challenges the traditional treatment of patients with cervical myelopathy (spinal cord dysfunction) due to herniated discs in the neck. The standard recommended treatment for this condition has been decompression and fusion. However, fusion has been shown to have detrimental effects on the function of the cervical spine leading to adjacent segment problems. Cervical artificial disc replacement has been shown to be superior to fusion in treating patients with one or two level herniated discs and radiculopathy (nerve root pain). Additionally, the role of decompression and cervical disc replacement in treating patients with myelopathy has been controversial.

The information presented in the study was based upon the FDA IDE clinical trial data for the two-level Prestige LP artificial cervical disc, in which two comparisons were made:
  • The first found that clinical outcomes between artificial disc replacement in patients with myelopathy versus patients with radiculopathy (nerve root pain) alone were equally safe and effective.
  • The second comparison examined the difference between patients with myelopathy treated with artificial disc replacement and those treated with fusion. Compared to fusion, patients treated with disc replacement demonstrated similar levels of clinical improvement and had less implant related complications. 

The results of this study challenge the traditional thinking that fusion is the only option for treating patients with two-level cervical disc herniation and myelopathy – it demonstrated that artificial disc replacement is a safe and effective alternative for managing this condition.
Learn more about cervical artificial disc replacement on Dr. McConnell’s personal website