California neurosurgeon reverses 3-level cervical fusion with artificial discs


Neurosurgeon Todd Lanman, MD, became the first in the U.S. to restore motion at three contiguous levels in a patient's cervical spine.

The 60-year-old patient regained nearly full motion in her neck after a procedure coined "restorative motion surgery," which removes and reverses prior spinal fusions in patients and replaces them with artificial discs, according to an Aug. 16 news release.

The patient previously was fused through multiple surgeries extending from her C2-7 vertebrae. Her most recent fusion was more than two years ago, but she noted increased pain that was radiating down her left arm as well as numbness and weakness.

A nonunion failed fusion in the patient's C6-7 vertebrae, caused by loosening screws, had led to irritation on her nerve, according to Dr. Lanman, who is founder of Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Lanman Spinal Neurosurgery.

The surgery lasted three hours and the patient was experiencing no more arm pain, numbness or weakness four days later, he said.

Dr. Lanman recently launched the Advanced Disc Replacement Spinal Restoration Center in Los Angeles with his partner, Jason Cuellar, MD. Both surgeons received licenses to practice in Florida and plan to expand their new venture to Miami and Tampa, Fla., and Austin, Texas.

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