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The following procedures offer alternatives to traditional spinal fusion surgery, which permanently affixes two or more bones in the spine (vertebrae) restricting movement between them. 


An alternative to the traditional fusion treatment, Dynesys is a spinal system that uses flexible materials to stabilize the spine. Dynesys can provide added stability while keeping vertebrae in a more natural position than traditional fusion surgery.

The procedure, which generally takes a few hours, is recommended as an alternative to fusion surgery to treat degenerative slipped discs in the thoraciclumbar, lumbar or sacral regions. During the procedure, a portion of the affected disc(s) and bone from the spine are removed and the Dynesys dynamic stabilization system is attached to the bone (pedicle) on each side of the affected vertebrae and discs. The implants create an active push-pull relationship that stabilizes the affected joint while still keeping the vertebrae in its natural position and allowing controlled limited motion.

Although full recovery from surgery and improvements in back pain can take several weeks, many patients experience almost immediate relief of any leg pain, and recovery is often shortened because fusion is not required. Rehabilitation is prescribed by most doctors and should be followed to ensure a full recovery and a positive outcome.

The primary advantage of the Dynesys system is the preservation of the intervertebral discs and structure of the affected vertebrae and preservation of motion. During clinical trials, patients benefited from a significant reduction in pain and the possibility of resuming normal daily activity sooner thanks to reduced hospital recovery time.

Cervical Disc Replacement

Cervical disc replacement surgery involves replacing a diseased or damaged disc with the prosthetic disc. The GW Spine Center was the first nonmilitary hospital in the DC area to offer total cervical disc replacement to the public. Cervical disc replacement offers an alternative to spinal fusion for patients suffering from the symptoms of degenerative disc disease (DDD) of the cervical spine. Individuals suffering arm pain or weakness caused by DDD may be candidates for cervical disc replacement.

The Prestige ST Cervical Disc System is used to replace damaged discs with an artificial disc designed to maintain motion and flexibility at the treated level. This prosthetic disc is constructed of stainless steel in a unique, two-component configuration. The two-piece ball-and-trough design allows for the motions of a natural intervertebral disc: flexion, extension, side bending and rotation. The Prestige ST Cervical Disc System is available in a variety of sizes to closely match a patient's anatomy.