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New Surgical Technique for Neck Disc Replacement Now Offered At St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital

New generation of artificial discs proven to preserve the neck's range of motion

CAMARILLO, CA – (May 7, 2019) – St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital (SJPVH), a Dignity Health hospital is proud to announce that the first new generation of neck (cervical) disc replacement was successfully implanted. These artificial discs are surgically implanted using an anterior approach, where surgeons make a minimal incision through the front of the neck instead of the back.

Cervical discs are the cushions that lie between the bones (vertebra) of the neck (cervical spine). When the space between the vertebrae becomes too narrow, part of the vertebrae or the cervical disk can press on the spinal cord or nerves, producing symptoms that include: neck pain or stiffness, headaches, numbness in arms, shoulders, and hands. When these symptoms do not respond to medication or therapy, neck disc replacement may be recommended.

“The cervical disc replacements we are utilizing today are significantly more advanced than what was used ten years ago,” said SJPVH Orthopedic Surgeon, Rocco Calderone, MD. “These devices have better technology, with less wear and tear, and a redesign that allows for more effortless insertion.”

Cervical disc replacement interchanges the damaged disc with a new disc device, which allows for motion between the two vertebrae, avoiding the need for a fusion. The new generation implant, composed of two metallic endplate surfaces with polyethylene between, is attached to the upper and lower vertebra at the affected disc level. The disc replacement device is secured in place with an anchor to the bones. As a result, the implant can behave as a functioning joint with a normal range of motion.

Previously, surgeons used the cervical fusion technique to treat cervical disc disease. This procedure placed a plate with screws to the front of the spine to provide initial stability, which assisted in achieving a solid fusion. Following this fusion, patients were often immobilized for weeks.

Benefits of this new generation of cervical disc replacement compared to cervical fusion can include faster recovery, shorter hospital stays, smaller incisions with less scarring, implant longevity, and a quicker return to daily activities. Its new design without the screw fixation preserves and restores the neck’s range of motion.

Take St. John’s free and confidential online neck risk assessment. To find an orthopedic surgeon at St. John’s, please call (877) 753-6248.


About St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital

St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo is a recipient of the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence and rated among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for stroke and pulmonary care by Healthgrades. St. John’s Pleasant Valley is a member of Dignity Health Central Coast, an integrated network of top quality hospitals, with physicians from the most prestigious medical schools, and comprehensive outpatient services - all recognized for quality, safety and service. Hospitals in the Dignity Health Central Coast region include Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria and St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard. Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to help meet the growing health care needs of our communities. Learn more at

Publish date: 

Tuesday, May 07, 2019