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In order to provide cushioning for movement and the weight of the body, discs are present between each bone of the cervical spine. As with any other part of the spine, these discs can herniate or bulge, leading to weakness, numbness, pain and even tingling sensations in the arms and hands. Various causes exist for these issues, including an accident or overuse.

For years, spinal fusion surgery has served as the normal treatment for poor cervical discs. To return the disc to normal height and remove pressure, a bone spacer or plastic implant replaces the problem disc in this procedure. The problem with this solution is that the fused area can no longer move, which can create more stress itself, possibly resulting in degeneration and even more surgery.

While surgeons have been implanting artificial discs for several years, the recent innovation of the Mobi-C has transformed the replacement of cervical discs. The Mobi-C allows the neck to maintain normal motion, which in turn potentially prevents degeneration and even a second surgery.

The Mobi-C is composed of three parts—two metal plates that sandwich a plastic insert. While other artificial discs require neurosurgeons to chisel bone and drill screws to hold the device in place, the Mobi-C has teeth on the top and bottom to secure the plates to the vertebrae on either side. The device also has a special coating, helping vertebrae to grow and eventually attach to the metal plates.

The implantation of the Mobi-C requires the neurosurgeon to make a small incision in the patient’s neck. X-rays are then taken during the procedure to make sure the device is inserted at just the right location and angle. The neurosurgeon then removes the problem disc, replacing it with the Mobi-C device.

Dr. Eric Akin is the only West Tennessee Healthcare physician who currently performs this procedure.

West Tennessee Healthcare (WTH) does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, Limited English Proficiency or sex, including discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, sex stereotyping or pregnancy in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits under any of its programs and activities, whether carried out by WTH directly or through a contractor or any other entity with which WTH arranges to carry out its programs and activities.

For further information about this policy, contact Amy Garner (731) 541-9914.