Patient Case Studies

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (with a Plate)

Here is a patient with a prolonged history of neck pain with arm pain and numbness. He underwent a cervical fusion in the form of an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion with a plate by Dr. Pablo Pazmino. This was performed with a cervical PEEK cage designed by Dr. Pablo Pazmino.

In his own words…..

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6 Month Post-Op Video

"Hello I'm a patient of Dr. Pazmino. I have been dealing with Dr. Pazmino for the last three and half almost four years. I decided to have surgery this past July of 2011. The procedure went great! I have absolutely no pain whatsoever. I was preparing myself for severe pain after the cervical surgery that I had. I have NO PAIN WHATSOEVER! The surgery went great. I stayed one night in the hospital, they wanted me to stay two. It wasn't necessary. Dr. Pazmino he's just great in my book, he's just TOPS"

With this new cervical cage technology, designed by Dr. Pazmino at Spinecal, this PEEK (Poly Ether Ether Ketone) cage can be placed into a degenerated segment of the neck to restore disc height and alignment. In fact if you notice his radiographs he now has a complete restoration of disc height. This patient is now one week out from her surgery performed by Dr. PazminoMission Community Hospital in the valley. As you can tell from his testimonial he has already noticed complete relief of his neck and arm pain.

Range of Motion

As it turns out he has excellent range of motion throughout neck flexion, extension and rotation. So in this case even though it was a fusion (which was required) Dr. Pazmino was able to perform the procedure in a minimally invasive manner sparing other levels from surgery.

Here you can see his range of motion in all four directions. Please keep in mind he has had a cervical fusion and still has this complete range of motion!!!

X-Rays After Surgery

These are the Xrays of his neck taken after his surgery. These Xrays show that his new disc spacer is in place and have restored the natural curvature in his neck.

In certain situations, patients with disc herniations need the entire disc and fragments removed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nearby nerves. Once the disc has been removed something needs to be put in its place.

These Lanx brand spacers are an option and can be seen here. These spacers were designed by Dr. Pazmino himself. They are made of substance called PEEK (Poly Ether Ether Ketone) which feels like plastic. This material has properties which closely resemble our native bone. Dr. Pazmino places screws through the cages into the bone to hold them securely in position. Because these cages are made out of PEEK they are see through on Xrays and this allows Dr. Pazmino to closely follow the healing process which occurs inside the cages.

Bone is placed inside the cages to stimulate healing. There are several choices and material Dr. Pazmino can offer you to fill this cage. We can use local bone, transplanted bone from your hip or bone taken from a cadaver. This bone starts to heal within the cage and joins, or fuses, the bones above and below the spacer to each other. This process takes a year to complete. In three months this cage is filled with bone which is the consistency of cotton candy, in 6 months this bone is the consistency of Styrofoam, and by 12 months this bone inside the cage is strong like oak and normal bone. By 12 months the fusion process can be considered complete. In the meantime the screws through the plate in front of the cage keep the spacer in place. This is why Dr. Pazmino follows his patients at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and one year.