This health video will focus on the options available to you to ease your back pain.
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Dr. Dean Edell: For people like Maureen Lawrence advances in fusion surgery helped her to get back on her feet after the degenerative disc disease knocked her down. Dr. Christopher Baker: What this really does is it takes an operation which is a good operation and makes it much better. Dr. Dean Edell: In the past doctors would screw a plate into the patient's vertebrae and use bone they took from the hip fusing it to the spine. This spinal cage implant is different from other fusion procedures. Dr. Christopher Baker: The cage goes where the disc used to be. So we take out the disc and literally screw this cage into the space where the disc was previously. Dr. Dean Edell: But fusion does have his drawbacks. Dr. Fabien Bitan: By blocking the motion at this one level you increase the stress on the adjacent levels. Dr. Dean Edell: Dr. Fabien Bitan is helping lead research in disc replacement. Dr. Fabien Bitan: We foresee probably that this is very gradually going to take over spinal fusion. Dr. Dean Edell: Disc replacement put triathlete Karl Luse (ph) back on the track. Karl Luse: I can swim with no discomfort. I can ride pretty much with no discomfort. Dr. Dean Edell: I'm Dr. Dean Edell.