Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Back Pain Health Center

Font Size

Artificial Spinal Disc Nears Approval

Experts Say More Long-Term Safety Information Needed

Doctor Training Required

These front-approach surgeries carry high risks, including the danger of damaging blood vessels, says David W. Polly, MD, chief of spine surgery at the University of Minnesota. "What I'm concerned about is this is the first [permanently implantable disc] out of the block," he tells WebMD.

"The challenge is going to be how do you rein in surgeons, how do you do it right," says Polly, who is a paid consultant for Medtronic Inc., a rival medical device company. Medtronic is a WebMD sponsor.

The panel also called on the company to provide training for surgeons who want to implant the artificial disc.

William P. Christianson, DePuy's vice president for clinical and regulatory affairs, assures the FDA that his company would set up training centers to educate surgeons on how to implant the device more safely if the FDA approves it.

"Obviously, physician training is going to be very important for successful launch of this product," he says.

1|2

Today on WebMD

back pain
Article
woman with lower back pain
Quiz
 
man on cellphone
Slideshow
acupuncture needles in woman's back
Slideshow
 

low back pain
Video
pain in brain and nerves
Slideshow
 
Chronic Pain Healtcheck
Health Check
break at desk
Article
 

Woman holding lower back
Slideshow
Weight Loss Surgery
Slideshow
 
lumbar spine
Slideshow
back pain
Article