Advancing the treatment of degenerative disc disease, the BRYAN Cervical Disc System is shown to be closest to the natural disc when compared with other disc replacement options.
Natural discs between each of the 24 bones (vertebrae) of the spine, act as flexible points allowing the spine to undergo a range of motion. They also provide some shock absorption for loads transmitted through the spinal column.
Disc degeneration, which results as people age and/or sustain an injury, can lead to herniation (commonly called a ruptured disc). Herniation describes a condition in which a portion of the disc bulges out between two vertebrae and irritates the spinal cord or nerves. A second form of degeneration, spondylotic growth (commonly called bone spurs) can also irritate the spinal cord and nerves.
Currently, the most common form of surgery for treating degenerative disc disease in the neck is cervical disc removal followed by fusion. In this operation, the cervical spine is accessed through an incision in the anterior (front) of the neck, and the injured disc is removed. Following removal, the disc is replaced with bone from the patient’s hip/bone bank or with a metallic tube. When the disc space is filled with bone, the area may then be reinforced with a metal plate attached with screws to the spinal vertebrae. Each of these alternatives is designed to produce a solid fusion between the vertebrae above and below the removed disc.
Following anterior cervical fusion surgery, patients’ symptoms are relieved, but the fused vertebrae can limit neck movement and may put additional stress on the discs above and below the fusion.
The BRYAN Cervical Disc System features a prosthesis that is implanted in the neck. The device is designed to maintain the surgical benefits of an anterior approach to the spine including the symptomatic relief associated with the surgical decompression. However, unlike fusion, the damaged disc is replaced with the prosthesis, which is designed to allow for motion at the treated level. The implant incorporates an elastic nucleus, providing shock absorption theoretically similar to the natural disc.
The BRYAN Cervical Disc prosthesis was first developed by American neurosurgeon Vincent Bryan in 1993 and the BRYAN Cervical Disc System, available through Medtronic, Inc., incorporates technology by Gary K. Michelson, MD.