A recent research reveals that an artificial disc to replace damaged spinal discs has successfully undergone clinical trials. The bones of the spine are separated by discs of cartilage which serve as a cushion between them. If these get damaged or slip out of position, two spinal bones may grind together, giving rise to acute and disabling pain.
One treatment for the 'slipped' disc is to remove it and fuse the two spinal bones together, but this sometimes limits the range of motion available to the patient. Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have been testing an artificial disc and comparing it to spinal fusion. Results so far look very promising, with many patients becoming pain free. The research will now more into its next phase and the disc will be tested on a much larger group of patients with spinal disc problems.