By Dr Suresh Siva
More than 400,000 patients worldwide undergo surgery each year to address pain, numbness and/or diminished arm and hand function. This condition, called ‘cervical radiculopathy’, is a result of natural degeneration of the spinal structures, which causes compression of the nerve roots in the neck.
Patients with cervical radiculopathy are most commonly treated with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), a surgical procedure that includes removing a patient’s disc through a 2-inch incision in the front of the neck, placing a bone graft in between two vertebrae, and joining the vertebrae with a metal plate and screws. Cervical fusion commonly requires an overnight stay in the hospital and is performed under general anesthesia.
This surgery requires access to the front of the neck through an open incision. This surgical approach results in postoperative swallowing difficulty and vocal hoarseness in as many as 30% of patients. These factors create an attractive opportunity for a surgical solution that is less invasive and can offer comparable or better clinical outcomes.
The New DTRAX Solution
We have started using the DTRAX System to treat these cases as it is the least invasive surgical option for patients with cervical radiculopathy. The DTRAX portfolio includes four novel spinal implants designed to provide indirect decompression
of symptomatic nerves. DTRAX implants create space and relieve the pressure on nerves through controlled opening of the vertebral joints (facets) and provide stabilization until the treated area heals (fusion). The DTRAX procedure is done under x-ray guidance using 1-cm tubes to enable a minimally invasive procedure.
Advantages of the DTRAX System compared to traditional surgical approaches include:
- Keyhole posterior surgery, compared to open anterior surgery
- No damage to the vocal cords or other throat
- Shorter stay in hospital
- Less tissue damage and blood loss
- Shorter procedure time
- Preserves future treatment options
- Reduced recovery period
- Reduced implant costs.
If you are interested in a less invasive surgical solution to your neck and arm pain make an appointment to see your orthopaedic surgeon.