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UM St. Joseph Spine Institute:
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Back and Neck in Action

March 2nd, 2015

Advanced cervical and spine surgeries restore mobility

Dr. Fedder with Mr. KochIt’s not unusual for cervical and spine patients who seek the expertise of Towson Orthopaedic Associates (TOA) at University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center to arrive in a state of near paralysis and at their wit’s end after being told by other doctors that there is no hope for relief. When Henry Koch 92, came to see spine surgeon Ira Fedder, MD, “he was essentially paralyzed,” recalls Dr. Fedder. Koch had lost control of his legs, arms and hands. Doctors at the hospital where he was first treated told him he had neuropathy and “that nothing could be done,” says Koch’s wife, Patty. “They said he was too old to risk surgery. I don’t know what would have become of Henry if we didn’t seek a second opinion from Dr. Fedder.”

Dr. Fedder diagnosed Koch with cervical spinal stenosis, pinched nerves in his neck, which resulted in arm pain, numbness, weakness and—in severe cases like his—near paralysis.

Averting Further Complications

Fortunately, Dr. Fedder and his colleagues at TOA are some of the most experienced in the region, performing cervical fusions using a zero-profile device to treat cervical disk herniation (a ruptured disk in the neck) and cervical spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck). When a disk becomes herniated, it ruptures or bulges. Traditional treatment involves an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) to relieve
pressure on the cervical spine. The disk and bone spurs are removed during ACDF and a traditional
device composed of a cage (a cylindrical spacer) or bone graft from the hip and a plate on the front of the spine is inserted into the disk space. However, the zero-profile device is more compact and joins the plate to what’s called a PEEK cage, avoiding the need for rods and a bone graft…

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