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Sanford USD Medical Center Offers New Procedure for Degenerative Disc Disease

Sanford USD Medical Center announced today a new procedure for patients with degenerative disc disease (DDD) of the cervical spine.

Sanford USD Medical Center announced today a new procedure for patients with degenerative disc disease (DDD) of the cervical spine. On Friday, August 3, 2007, Bryan Wellman, MD, Sanford Clinic Neurosurgery & Spine, became one of the first surgeons in the country to attend medical training for a newly FDA approved cervical spine disc - The PRESTIGE®. The PRESTIGE® Cervical Disc is a stainless steel surgical implant indicated to treat patients suffering from DDD of the cervical (neck) spine.

Traditionally, a procedure called spinal fusion has been the "gold standard" for surgically treating DDD in the cervical spine. Using bone grafts and metal plates and screws, this procedure fuses, or creates a bond between two or more vertebrae, ideally stabilizing the segment and providing relief. Many patients have achieved excellent results with this procedure; however, a potential disadvantage associated with spinal fusion is the loss of motion and flexibility.

"During single discectomies of the past, patients lost motion because the cervical bones were fused together, however, with the patented ball-and-trough design the disc can better replicate the patient's normal range of motion," says Dr. Wellman. "The incision is small and patients no longer need to wear a cervical collar after surgery. Most importantly, patients will feel better faster and get back to their lives more quickly."

It is estimated that more than 200,000 patients receive surgical treatment for cervical DDD.  Patients suffer from arm pain numbness, tingling, and/or weakness from a pinched nerve in the neck related to a herniated disc. Many patients will also have some element of neck pain along with it. Bone spurs causing irritation of the nerve root, with arm pain and/or neck pain may also become problematic.

Patients interested in the PRESTIGE® Cervical Disc can contact Sanford Clinic Neurosurgery & Spine at 605-328-8660.

About Medtronic/PRESTIGE® Cervical Disc

On July 16, 2007, Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT) announced that it has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to market the PRESTIGE® Cervical Disc after reviewing data from the largest completed clinical trial to date involving the cervical spine. Patients in the study showed superior overall success and superior neurological success which incorporated sensory, motor, and reflex functions. The PRESTIGE Disc is the first artificial disc approved by the FDA for use in the U.S.