This medical video focuses on the new surgery available to people with neck injuries which can cut their recovery time.
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Dr. Frank Phillips: Alright, Dennis move your neck forward just a bit. Jennifer Mathews: Dennis Kistulinec had a herniated disc in his neck. Dennis Kistulinec: When I cough, I get shooting pains down my arms. Jennifer Mathews: For almost a year, he lived in pain. Dennis Kistulinec: Let alone trying to work a labor job just your regular way of life is affected trying to carry groceries in or you can't pick up your kids like you used to. Jennifer Mathews: Now, just two months after undergoing a new surgical procedure, Dennis is not only back to work, he's back lifting weights. Dennis Kistulinec: I feel five years younger. No pain, no stiffness, no soreness. Jennifer Mathews: Dr. Frank Phillips is performing the procedure as part of a clinical trial to test a new artificial cervical disc. Dr. Frank Phillips: There you see the disk replacement. Jennifer Mathews: Instead of removing the damaged disc, inserting bone into that space and fusing it to the vertebrae, Dr. Phillips implants this artificial disc made of the same metal and plastics used in hip and knee replacements. Benefits of the new procedure include greater neck movement and a much shorter recovery time. Dr. Frank Phillips: Patients, in my experience have done very well. Typically, the arm pain, the numbness, the weakness, the pinched nerve symptoms, tend to get better quickly or almost immediately after surgery. Jennifer Mathews: Dr. Phillips also says the new disc will likely reduce the need for more surgeries down the road. Dennis hopes that's true for him because he'd rather spend his time in the weight room not the operating room. This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.