U of U Clinical Trial Tests Artificial Disks

U of U Clinical Trial Tests Artificial Disks

Jun 17, 2004 6:00 PM

The University of Utah School of Medicine's Department of Orthopedics, along with the Department of Neurosurgery, are participating in a research study to compare a recently developed artificial disk implant with the current standard of care, single-level fusion.

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic low back pain due to degenerative disk disease (DDD), which can result from trauma, infection, or aging. The disease usually affects the lower back (lumbar spine) and neck (cervical spine), and causes pain, stiffness, and restricted motion.

A conservative approach to treating DDD involves use of anti-inflammatory drugs combined with physical therapy, oral steroids, or epidural injections. Surgical interventions include diskectomy (excision of an intervertebral disk), laminectomy (excision of the posterior arch of a vertebra), and fusion. The investigational artificial disk is designed to relieve low back pain and to allow motion of the treated segment.

The U is one of 25 sites across the country participating in the research investigation. In the randomized study, patients will receive either the newly developed investigational disk, or a traditional single-level fusion.

The U orthopedics department is looking for patients, ages 18-60, with single-level DDD to join the study. Participants will be randomized to receive either the artificial disk or spinal fusion. They must undergo evaluation before, during, and after surgery. For more information on how to participate in the study, call (801) 587-9386.

# # #

Visit our News Archive for a complete list of previous News.