The M6 Artificial Cervical Disc as featured on Nine News.
Reported by Gabriella Rogers
Neck and back pain can be debilitating, one of the most common complaints among Australians. Tens of thousands of people need hospital treatment each year, but there’s now a new implant, bringing instant relief to sufferers.
42-year-old swimmer Stuart Johnson knows all about pushing through the pain barrier, having completed a double-crossing of the English channel, but even prescription pain-killers could not ease the problems with his spine.
“At worse, I could not sleep at night, rolling over and sleeping at my side”.
He was at the end of the road. He could not go on further – but not for long. He underwent surgery to replace a damaged disc in his neck with this, an artificial implant, the size of a thumb nail.
Dr Ralph Mobbs, Neurosurgeon, says “We can now replace a degenerated disc with something that mirrors the bio-mechanics of a normal disc. That is because the artificial disc and its neek-clee us is designed to mimic a human disc, making it more flexible. This is after the surgery, from a motion perspective, a fantastic result”.
Traditionally, patients have a spinal fusion, requiring screws, plates and a cage to join the spine together.
“Whenever we fuse the spine, it does result in additional stress on the joints above and below. There are also larger implants for the lower back” says Dr Mobbs.
Stuart decided on this surgery because he wanted to retain movement in his neck, and continue his passion for swimming. That includes a triple-crossing of the English channel.
“I plan to go back and try again next year”.
For more information, click here
Spinal Health International (SHI) volunteers returned to Kathmandu, Nepal in February 2013 with support from LifeHealthcare (LHC) Australia and K2M USA. Jerry Day MD, Neurosurgery, Wollongong NSW Australia participated in complex spinal reconstructive surgeries at Tribuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) and Grande International Hospital (GIH) along with Chet Sutterlin MD, Director of SHI. SHI is a secular, nongovernmental, nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to education, teaching, and assistance to surgeons treating patients with spinal disorders and disease in underprivileged countries.
Nepal is primarily a mountainous region located in the Himalaya with Tibet to it’s north and India to it’s south. The population of Nepal is approximately 27 million with about 1 million residing in the capital city of Kathmandu. Almost 60% of the population is below the poverty line defined as $US2/day according to the World Bank. Economically, agriculture comprises the majority of the gross domestic product (GDP). Nepal is home to Chomolungma (Sagarmatha, Mt Everest) which is the highest mountain on earth at 8848m (29,029ft) above sea level.
At TUTH, Dr Day operated with Rohit Pokharel MD PhD on patient DP, a 17yo male who fell from a tree and sustained a C6-7 subluxation with ASIA B incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI). The patient underwent posterior open reduction and internal fixation utilizing pedicle screws at C5, C6, T1, and T2. Within 4 weeks, the patient had improved to ASIA D.
At GIH, Dr Day operated with Binod Bijukachhe MD on patient PT, a 40yo teacher who presented with weakness, incoordination, and spasticity of both legs for 4 months which had progressed to wheelchair dependence by admission to hospital. MRI revealed neurofibroma at T6 with severe cord compression. The tumor was resected via right unilateral approach (removal of transverse process, facet, lamina, and pedicle) and unilateral pedicle screw fixation T5 and T7. The patient recovered very quickly and was ambulatory with minimal pain at day 5 postop.
Dr Day was accompanied by his family Angus Day, Olivia Day, and Jane Luscombe (OR nurse and practice manager). Also volunteering to assist SHI with it’s mission was Sarah Song, BS and premed student, who was supported by K2M spinal implant company of Leesburg, Virginia USA.
During nonworking hours, the SHI volunteers were able to visit the homes of Nepalese families, orphanages, and many of the amazing historical destinations of Nepal including Mt Everest!
SHI wishes to thank Dr Day and his family, Ms Song, LifeHealthcare, and K2M for their support.
Respectfully submitted by Chet Sutterlin MD, Dept Neurosurgery University of Florida, USA.
All photos compliments of : Olivia and Angus Day
Please visit the SHI website: www.spinalhealthinternational.org
Spinal Health International (SHI) representatives have just returned from another successful volunteer effort in Nepal. Located in South Asia, Nepal has a population of 27 million with 5 million in the capital city of Kathmandu. Poverty is acute; annual per capita income is less than $1000 and 25% of the population earn $1.25 or less per day. On his most recent visit, Chet Sutterlin MD from the University of Florida USA worked with Rohit Pokharel MD PhD, Director of Spine Surgery at Tribuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) in Kathmandu giving lectures, attending ward rounds, and participating in spine surgery on a young 14yo girl with Pott’s paraplegia, a common problem in this underdeveloped country (click here to the review article on tuberculosis (TB) infection of the spine by TUTH orthopaedic resident/registrar Ishwar Bhattarai MD).
Spinal Health International (SHI) is a private, secular, nonprofit, voluntary organization dedicated to improving the availability and quality of health care related to diseases and disorders of the spine in underprivileged countries through education and research (www.spinalhealthinternational.org). SHI also organizes and supports the “Klimb 4 Kidz” (K4K) program. K4K raises awareness of the global situation regarding spinal disorders and diseases in children and adults and thus, supports the efforts of SHI. In May of this year, K4K mountaineers reached the summits of major Himalayan peaks….Mt Everest (Sagarmatha in Nepal/Chomolungma in Tibet) which is the world’s highest mountain (8848m/29,029ft) and Mt Lhotse (8516m/27,940ft) the 4th highest in the world. K4K and SHI extend many thanks to Dick Morse of USA and Nepalese Sherpas – Kame, Pemba, Lhakpa, and Pasang of Peak Promotion in Kathmandu, Nepal for their heroic contribution and support!
Dick Morse USA and Chet Sutterlin MD Sydney, Australia with Lobuche Peak (6000m+/20,000ft+), Khumbu Valley, Himalaya, Nepal
Tribuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH), Kathmandu, Nepal.
Rohit Pokharel MD PhD, Director of Spine Surgery, TUTH with mother and child on ward rounds