Robert Vraney, MD’s, Novel Procedure Gives Active Patients Suffering from Degenerative Disc Disease Hope for an End to Chronic Pain, Narcotic Dependency and Return to Work
Orthopaedic Associates announced today the successful implantation of a new artificial spinal disc replacement device to address chronic low
back pain caused by Degenerative Disc Disease in a Western Kentucky resident by Robert Vraney, MD of Orthopaedic Associates. Vraney is the
first spine surgeon in Southern Indiana to perform this innovative surgery using the Aesculap Implant Systems (Center Valley, PA) activL® Artificial Disc. In contrast with other treatments such as spinal fusion, the activL Artificial Disc is designed to more closely mirror the natural movement of the healthy human spine following surgery.
Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) and chronic low back pain are one of the most common reasons for lost work time in the United States, secondly to the common cold. Injuries that lead to low back surgery are also associated with high rates of narcotic dependency. “The Level one evidence shows that two in three chronic low back pain sufferers are narcotic dependent by the time of their surgery and 30% are out of work,” said Vraney. Vraney, who recognized the patient and societal benefits of motion preservation procedures, like the one using the activLArtificial Disc, early in their introduction, focuses on getting his patients back to a narcotic-free quality life.
“I have been an early adopter of motion preserving procedures because Ihave seen the value in both my own patients as well as in the academic
literature,” said Robert Vraney, MD. “Based on outcomes from the activL Artificial Disc clinical trial, I believe that the activL Artificial Disc
represents the next generation of spinal disc replacement technology.
For my younger, more active, patients sometimes it does not make sense
to do a spinal fusion.” Fusions have been associated with causing patients with DDD to start experiencing pain at levels adjacent to their initial
fusion several years after their surgery. In clinical studies, patients who
received a lumbar artificial disc were three times less likely to have
adjacent level problems five years after their procedure than patients
who received a fusion. “Lumbar total disc replacement is now considered
a standard of care for DDD sufferers,” said Vraney.
The literature supports that within six-months of lumbar artificial disc
surgery more than 86% of DDD patients will go back to full-time
employment without restrictions and because of their decreased pain
and increased function will be able to stay off narcotics. “The activL trial found that 98.5% of lumbar disc patients are still narcotic free more than five years after surgery,” said Vraney.
Vraney performed the first surgery using the activL Artificial Disc in
early February. “One month following my patient’s initial surgery she is
doing well,” said Vraney. “I am confident as she continues to heal that she will greatly benefit from receiving this artificial disc.”
If you have chronic low back pain and are interested in understanding if you are a candidate for lumbar total disc replacement, contact Orthopaedic Associates to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Vraney at 812-424-9291.
About Orthopaedic Associates, Inc.
Orthopaedic Associates (OA) is an independently owned and operated,
full-service orthopaedic center. For over 75 years, OA and their dedicated surgeons have provided comprehensive orthopaedic care–diagnosis,
surgery, and rehabilitation–to residents of Southwestern Indiana and
the surrounding communities. Specialty areas include joint replacement, sports medicine, orthopaedic trauma, arthritis treatment, occupational injuries, microvascular and microneural reconstructive surgery, and arthroscopy.