Choosing Spinal Fusion or Mobi-C for Cervical Disc Replacement

Learn Whether Spinal Fusion or Mobi-C is Right for You

A major concern for anyone needing cervical disc replacement is the ability to retain range of motion following surgery. While Mobi-C cervical disc replacement presents an alternative to traditional spinal fusion for some patients, there are important considerations that come into play when determining which option is best for a patient.

What Mobi-C Offers Patients

The biggest pro when it comes to whether or not to opt for Mobi-C is mobility retention. The device has two metal end plates and a medical-grade polyethylene insert (mobile core) that self-adjusts in sync to natural spinal movements. In addition to segmental motion, disc height is also retained when the device is inserted. Additional benefits that make the Mobi-C device worth considering include:

• No use of keels or screws
• No bone chiseling (maintains a stable surface for vertebrae)
• One-step insertion (after disc preparation)

When Spinal Fusion Is the Better Choice

Not everyone is a candidate for Mobi-C or other forms of artificial disc replacements. Mobi-C is approved for use when one or two adjacent levels (for levels C3-C7) of the cervical spine are affected. Patients with cervical disc damage outside of these levels must opt for either fusion or some other type of cervical artificial disc replacement, if they meet the criteria. Cervical spinal fusion is generally a better option when:

• Patients have an allergy to materials used in the Mobi-C
• Imaging does not confirm a qualifying injury for Mobi-C to be a viable option
• Patients have confirmed disc damage at two separate locations along the cervical spine (Mobi-C may not be as effective if the cervical spine is weakened at other points)

As with fusion surgery, Mobi-C is not a primary option for neck pain. The manufacturer of the Mobi-C recommends patients should have failed results with conservative treatments (ice/heat, NSAIDs, physical therapy) for at least six weeks before surgery becomes an option. The device has already been implanted more than 30,000 times since first approved for use in the United States in 2006.

Learn more about your treatment options for back pain or receive a second opinion from the experienced Santa Monica spine surgeons at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Call (310) 828-7757 today and request an in-person consultation.