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Total disc replacement helps with range of motion, expert says
Knee and hip replacements have been common for decades, offering patients who suffered from degeneration a full range of pain-free movement. But spines and backs have been more problematic. Spinal fusions, the gold standard, have meant a limited range of motion for patients and even future procedures on adjoining discs. But a newer procedure that involves inserting an artificial disc, called total disc replacement, means patients can get that range of motion and pain relief without the drawbacks of fusion. Once other therapies have been exhausted, Dr. Amiel Bethel, a neurosurgeon at Baltimore Washington Medical Center, performs the procedure through a small incision, minimizing tissue disruption.
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun
July 27, 2011