First 2-Level Disc Replacement Performed in Ventura County

For patients with back pain from worn discs, artificial disc replacement offers state-of-the-art treatment, while traditional spinal fusion may become history.

Oxnard, CA, February 08, 2007 --( The first of its kind operation was performed today at St. John’s Regional Medical Center. Previously reserved for major centers, multi-level artificial disc replacement is rapidly becoming the standard of care for painful discs.

Traditionally spinal fusion has been the treatment of choice for chronic back pain from damaged discs. Now with the advent of disc replacements, surgeons are able to replace an arthritic disc much like a hip or knee replacement.

“Compared to spinal fusion, artificial disc recipients recover faster, return to work sooner, and have far better mobility,” comments Dr. Brian Rudin, who performed the double-level disc replacement today.

While technically more demanding, replacing multiple worn discs at once offers a safer alternative than replacing one at a time, as scar tissue can make additional surgeries difficult and at times dangerous.

St. John’s Regional Medical Center is the only center between Santa Barbara and Santa Monica with experience in both single and multi-level disc replacement. The surgical team consists of nurses, operating room technicians, and vascular surgeons trained to perform the operation.

Artificial disc replacements (ADR) have been used with tremendous success in Europe for over 15 years. In the US, with the recent approval of the Synthes Prodisc implant, surgeons are seeing the same benefits to patients as their overseas counterparts.

Unlike traditional spinal surgery, ADR is performed through a minimally-invasive incision in the abdomen, where the painful, worn out disc is carefully removed and a metal and polyethylene implant is inserted. These time-proven materials are what have been used in orthopedics for over three decades. The track record of these materials is very well established in the demanding environment of hip and knee replacements.

Most orthopedists and neurosurgeons that perform spine surgery haven’t yet been trained in the procedure, which limits their treatment options offered to patients. Patients who suffer from chronic low back pain, due to worn out discs are encouraged to ask their doctors about the procedure or visit for more information.

Ventura Spine
Connie Keeter