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Herniated Disc/Disc Injury - Your ICBC Injury Claim & Medical Advancements Part 2

Jeffrey S. Witten, B.A., LL.B.
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Personal Injury Lawyer at McComb Witten Marcoux

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Herniated discs in the neck area often cause severe pain and disability.

And up until recently a surgical procedure called a cervical fusion was thought to be the best way to treat this condition.

A cervical fusion involves fusing vertebra in the neck together with bone grafts. This procedure helps to limit neck  pain but severally limits the mobility of the neck.

But help may be on the way for people who are concerned about the mobility problems that a cervical fusion causes..

It's a procedure called a disc implant. And there only two surgeons in the province of British Columbia who perform this type of procedure. One of them is Dr. John Sun of Victoria.

In the May 21, 2013, edition of the Vancouver Sun, reporter Zoe McKight  tells the story of  Langley resident Jill Yoneda on whom Dr. Sun recently performed disc implant surgery.

Ms. Yondea is a competitive diver who was suffering from three herniated discs in her neck.

At first, Ms. Yoneda was told that she would need to have cervical fusion surgery in order to deal with her severe neck pain. But, fearful of losing the neck mobility she required in order to dive competitively, Ms. Yondea sought out a form of treatment which didn't impact her ability to compete. And after some searching Ms. Yoneda found Dr. Sun and the disc implant surgery he was performing in Victoria.

Here's how Ms. Yondea's disc implant surgery worked:

" ... rather than fusing the bones together he ( Dr. Sun) could try disc implants between cervical vertebrae C5-C6 and C6-C7, He surgically inserted two 14 millimetre titanium replacement discs ... that allowed Yoneda to retain her range of motion.."  Zoe McKight , May 21, 2013, Vancouver Sun.

Commenting on the cervical disc implant surgery he performs, Dr. Sun stated:

" Disc replacements are designed to preserve motion, so the neck could still move normally and not strain the other discs"

" We really don't know the long-term outcome of the implants".

Dr. Sun told the Vancouver Sun that at present disc implant surgery is being reserved for athletes and the very fit/active.

But hopefully, one day in the not too distant future, this disc implant surgery will be available to people who've suffered herinated discs in the neck region as a result of a car accidents

Category: Car Accidents

1 Comments to "Herniated Disc/Disc Injury - Your ICBC Injury Claim & Medical Advancements Part 2"

The greatest impact this surgery has had on my life is that I no longer require the use of narcotic medications to get me through the day. Narcotics are awful and don't necessarily take away the pain, but deaden your senses. The moment I work up from both surgeries, my pain had disappeared completely.

The risk with this surgery is that there have been no long term results from the disc implants, but that was a gamble I was willing to make to preserve my range of motion. Dr. John Sun, in Victoria, is a brilliant neurosurgeon and I would not hesitate to send anyone to him.

Thank you,
Jill Yoneda
Posted by Jill Yoneda on June 2, 2013 at 11:03 AM

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