Since many people spend their days at sedentary jobs, slouching over smartphones, and slumping on the couch binge-watching their favorite television shows, it’s no wonder that over 26 million Americans, ages 20 to 64, suffer from frequent back pain. The procedures to help remedy that have been invasive and have required long recovery times and therapy — until now. A Salt Lake City doctor, who helped pioneer artificial disc implantation, has helped make the procedure available in Utah.
According to Fox 13 Salt Lake City, Dr. Armen Khachatryan, who is an orthopedic spine surgeon at Jordan Valley Medical Center, helped develop artificial disc implantation, which is meant to be an alternative to the traditional procedure of spinal fusion.
“In contrast to fusion, where most of the patients would be spending their post-operative recovery in a neck collar, and keeping them immobilized while that fusion takes place,” Khachatryan told Fox 13, Salt Lake City, “in this case, with disc replacement, our goal is not to fuse. Our goal is to preserve motion, so we encourage our patients to start moving their neck as quickly as possible.”
The first person to receive the artificial disc implantation procedure in Utah was Clayton Reynolds, who says that his pain had been off the charts. He now says that his neck feels like that of his 20-year-old self.
Fusion devices still make up the majority of the market, but according to Becker Spine, non-fusion devices are expected to see growth for at least the next five years. This is especially true for non-fusion devices in America, because half of the the population over the age of 40 is impacted by degenerative disc disease.