Back to HCC home

Text size

Large / Normal

Contact info

Corporate Communications Fax
(860) 224-5779

Both campuses
(860) 224-5695

Other info

Press release details

Hospital now offers lumbar spine disc replacement

New Britain [November 09 2007] - The Hospital of Central Connecticut recently conducted its first lumbar spine disc replacement.

On Oct. 9, neurosurgeon Edward Akeyson, M.D., Ph.D., conducted the procedure on a 33-year-old Meriden man suffering from severe, disabling low back pain.

This comes just weeks after the hospital became the first in Greater Hartford, and only the second in the state, to implant an artificial cervical spinal disc—another state-of-the-art neurosurgical technique.

“Disc replacement as a treatment option speaks to the expertise of our neurosurgical physicians and capabilities, and is a welcomed addition to our range of spinal services at The Hospital of Central Connecticut,” says Hospital President Laurence A. Tanner.

Akeyson implanted the Charité® Artificial Disc in the hospital’s first lumbar spine disc replacement surgery, and performed a second surgery a week later on a 40-year-old man suffering from the same disability. The device is a three-part cobalt chrome alloy disc with a plastic, moveable core.

“These patients had exhausted all other nonsurgical treatment,” says Akeyson. “They were either forced to live with chronic, disabling back pain or consider surgery. Fusion was considered in both of these patients but they opted for the disc replacement.”

“They are younger patients earlier in their degenerative disc process and are both very active people, so we were concerned with long-term effects of fusion, such as loss of mobility and further disc degeneration,” Akeyson adds.

Disc replacement is reserved for patients with severe pain caused by degenerative disc disease that doesn’t respond to less invasive measures, and is an alternative to spinal fusion which removes the disc and replaces it with a bone graft and uses screws to attach two or more vertebrae together.

Each procedure lasted about two and a half hours and the patients had two-day stays at the hospital’s Joint and Spine Center. Recovery is about six to eight weeks, and typically includes physical therapy.

In September, neurosurgeon Ahmed Khan, M.D., implanted the PRESTIGE® Cervical Disc in a Southington woman. The PRESTIGE is the only FDA-approved artificial cervical disc implant available and was approved in August. It’s made of stainless steel, with a ball on top and a trough on the bottom. The device is inserted into the disc space and attached to the vertebrae on either side. The artificial disc functions like a normal joint, allowing patients to bring their chins to their chests, look up, bend their necks to either side and turn their heads.

Contact: Kimberly Gensicki, 860-224-5900, ext. 6507

HCC Corporate Communications
(860) 224-5695 • Fax (860) 224-5779