Seattle Neuroscience Institute at Swedish Medical Center Spine Surgeons Participating in Clinical Tr

Seattle Neuroscience Institute at Swedish Medical Center Spine Surgeons Participating in Clinical Trial Using Artificial Cervical Discs

SEATTLE, Feb. 17, 2006 – On Jan. 13, a physician with the Seattle Neuroscience Institute (SNI) at Swedish Medical Center became the second surgeon on the West Coast – and only the sixth in the country – to implant an artificial disc in the neck of a patient as part of a clinical study to test a new surgical treatment for neck pain caused by a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease using the CerviCore® Intervertebral Disc.

According to Stryker Spine, manufacturer of the disc, the CerviCore® Intervetrebral Disc is intended to replace a degenerated disc in the cervical spine, permit motion of the treated segment, and improve function. The safety and effectiveness of this artificial disc is being evaluated for these purposes in a clinical trial in which SNI is a participating site.

"The testing of this device is evidence of the growing interest in motion-preserving options for spine surgery, which may provide alternatives to spinal fusion," said John Hsiang, M.D., SNI's principal investigator of the CerviCore® clinical trial.

According to Dr. Hsiang's partner Peter Nora, M.D., who is a co-investigator of this study, "This disc was designed to reproduce the biomechanics of the natural cervical joint, and the hope is that the clinical trial shows that it will allow patients to enjoy a full range of motion."

The CerviCore® disc is made of cobalt chromium and has a metal-on-metal bearing surface design.

While many factors determine patient eligibility for the study, Swedish Medical Center-affiliated spine surgeon Jeff Garr, M.D., who – along with his partner Jay Williams, M.D. – is a co-investigator of the CerviCore® clinical trial at Swedish, said candidates include people who have degenerative disc disease in the cervical region of the spine or a herniated disc between C3 and C7, accompanied by arm pain, tingling, or numbness in the arms or fingers. Candidates must be between 18 and 65 years old and have been unable to get relief from their pain through physical therapy and pain medication.

For more information about the CerviCore® clinical trial at Swedish, call 206-320-2800 or visit


In 2004, Swedish Medical Center expanded its neuroscience services by establishing the Seattle Neuroscience Institute at Swedish Medical Center. The team of leading neurosurgeons and other specialists are building a world-class institute dedicated solely to the treatment and advancement of neurological disorders for patients in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. Formerly known as the Swedish Neuroscience Institute, the name was changed to reflect the program's broader scope and reach. The Swedish Medical Center/Providence Campus has been designated as the hub for the Institute and is being upgraded with four state-of-the-art operating rooms some with neuro-interventional radiology capabilities, and a renovated neuro intensive-care unit. Although the Institute is based at Swedish/Providence, neuroscience research and treatment continues to be a multi-campus program. SNI specializes in the research for and treatment of stroke, movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, tremors and Tourette's syndrome; epilepsy; child neurological disorders; neuro-ophthalmology; headaches; multiple sclerosis and many other neurological conditions and diseases.

Swedish is the largest, most comprehensive, nonprofit health provider in the Pacific Northwest. It is comprised of three hospital campuses (First Hill, Providence and Ballard), a new community-based emergency room and specialty center in Issaquah, Swedish Home Care Services and Swedish Physicians – a network of 12 primary-care clinics. In addition to general medical and surgical care, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiac care, oncology, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, neurological care, sleep medicine, pediatrics, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit

Media Note

Dr. Hsiang's first CerviCore® clinical trial patient has agreed to be interviewed by interested news media. To arrange access to this Seattle-area woman, simply contact in Swedish's Corporate Communications Department.

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