The International Journal of Spine Surgery has published research detailing the successful outcome of a conversion of an anterior cervical fusion to artificial disc replacement.
Todd Lanman, MD, who pioneered the procedure in the U.S. in 2016, authored the study with his practice partner, Jason Cuellar, MD.
He has performed the procedure, dubbed restorative motion surgery, on 23 patients.
The surgery removes a previous fusion in the cervical spine and replaces it with an artificial disc device at one or more levels, which enables patients to regain near or full motion and mobility they had prior to fusion.
The authors found that reversal of anterior cervical fusion with pseudoarthrosis to an artificial disc replacement, through restorative motion surgery, is "feasible and achieves postoperative range of motion that is similar to that achieved when performed in a segment not previously fused."
The novel surgery is an off-label indication of artificial disc replacement and not covered by most insurance policies.
Click here to read more details on the study.