Artificial disc makes the pain go away, but for how long?

  • Updated: September 14, 2013 - 7:06 PM

Jennifer Lind-Loughrey cannot remember suffering an injury, but she doesn’t forget the pain.

Last summer, the registered nurse in Baudette, Minn., felt almost constant discomfort, a tingling sensation shooting down her left arm. The condition only intensified over the next several weeks

Her doctor said she had a degenerating, bulging disc in her neck pressing on a nerve.

“Everything just fell apart,” she said, noting that she turned 40 at the time. “Sitting was awful, and lying down was awful. I had to be moving constantly.”

Her doctor offered her several options — including spinal fusion surgery. He also showed her an artificial disc by Medtronic called the BRYAN disc.

The northern Minnesota woman likes to walk, fish, camp and snowmobile. At her job as a surgical nurse, she is regularly on her feet. Her doctor recommended the artificial disc, which is made out of titanium and polyurethane and is inserted between the vertebrae to replace the natural spinal disc.

She had the surgery in October.

Lind-Loughrey was back to work within weeks. While she continues to do physical therapy and receive steroid injections, she said, “I am basically pain-free.”

Not only has she returned to work, she has returned to camping with her husband and two kids and taking care of her dogs.

“I hope that it lasts.”

James Walsh

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