Dan's primary care physician referred him to a neurologist, who ordered a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and referred him to David A. Lundin, MD, neurosurgical medical director of the Spine Center at Washington Neuroscience Institute (WNI).
"Dan had intractable symptomatic cervical disc disease (SCDD) in his
fourth cervical disc," Dr. Lundin
"The rest of his
spine was disease-free and looked great, but the C-4/5 bulge was severe, pressing on the spinal cord and nerves, and pinching off the flow of spinal fluid.
At 42 and in fine health, Dr. Lundin
believed Dan to be a perfect candidate for artificial disc replacement: a new, non-fusion technique that would allow Dan to continue his
active lifestyle for years to come.
"I was nervous at first," Dan said, "but I did my research.
Conventional surgery would have been much more involved and would have limited my activities.
What convinced me this was the right solution was that I felt comfortable with Dr. Lundin
Dan had cervical disc replacement surgery with Dr. Lundin
on November 12, 2008.
Following the 90-minute operation, he
was hospitalized overnight for observation and released the next day.
While restricted from driving for the first week, he
was able to telecommute from home the following day.
Just four weeks later, he's
sporting a narrow scar on the front of his
neck, sipping coffee at Starbucks
and using a laptop computer to demonstrate the regained use of his
head up and down vigorously, then a little more gently side to side.
"It's still a little stiff with lateral movement," Dan says, "and I have a way to go with my right hand.
I'm trying to use it as much as possible.
"I had very little pain afterwards," he