Focus on implantation of artificial discs to treat degenerative disc disease

Implantation of artificial discs to treat degenerative disc disease was the subject of multiple presentations earlier this month at the Spine Arthroplasty Meeting in Vienna, Austria, where spine and orthopaedic surgeons from all over the world heard new data about this technology. "This is a very hot topic," said Scott Blumenthal, M.D, an orthopaedic spine surgeon from the Texas Back Institute in Plano, who presented data from the CHARITÉ™ Artificial Disc U.S. clinical trial. "Doctors have a tremendous interest in artificial disc technology."

The CHARITÉ™ Artificial Disc was the subject of 12 presentations at the meeting. Presentations included data discussing safety, efficacy, range of motion, disc height, biomechanics, disc placement, radiological results and patient outcomes.

The CHARITÉ™ Artificial Disc is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and will be the subject of an FDA Advisory Committee meeting on June 2, 2004.

Implantation of artificial discs may provide an alternative to lumbar spinal fusion surgery, a procedure that helps reduce back pain, but limits a patient’s range of motion and may unnaturally stress adjacent anatomy. Lumbar spinal fusion surgery is performed on more than 200,000 people each year in the United States.

The CHARITÉ™ Artificial Disc is made of two metal endplates and a polyethylene core that allows for motion and function very much like a normal disc. Currently, the CHARITÉ™ Artificial Disc is a medical device limited by U.S. (Federal) law to investigational use within the United States. It is available in more than 30 countries throughout the world. http://www.jnj.com

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