The Food and Drug Administration has approved the Prestige disc implant device to treat degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine. Medtronic has created the first artificial disc for insertion into the neck to allow a larger degree of movement than the traditional spinal fusion treatment. Medtronic has agreed to conduct a seven year study as part of the FDA approval agreement. The company performed a clinical trial observing 541 patients receiving treatment for cervical degenerative disc disease comparing Prestige Cervical Disc to spinal fusion. The results found Prestige to have a greater degree of neurological success as well as fewer revision surgeries. The device is made of a stainless steel two-piece ball-and-trough configuration that functions like a joint and offers the greatest potential for neck mobility.
Another alternative treatment to spinal fusion is the non-surgical cervical spinal decompression technique. Technology like the DRX9000 gently applies traction to take pressure off the damaged disc which stimulates healing and pain relief. Depending on the severity of the condition, all patients should evaluate all non invasive options before undergoing surgery to correct degenerative disc disease.