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The Simplify cervical disc is a medical device that is designed to treat patients with cervical disc degeneration, a condition that affects the discs between the vertebrae in the neck. Cervical disc degeneration can cause pain, stiffness, numbness, weakness, and reduced range of motion in the neck and arms. The Simplify cervical disc aims to relieve these symptoms by replacing the damaged disc with an artificial one that mimics the natural motion and function of the spine.

The Simplify cervical disc is manufactured by NuVasive, a company that specializes in spine surgery and innovation. The Simplify cervical disc has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for both one-level and two-level cTDR procedures, meaning that it can be used to replace one or two adjacent discs in the cervical spine.

The Simplify cervical disc consists of three parts: two endplates made of polyetheretherketone (PEEK), a medical-grade plastic, and a core made of zirconia-toughened alumina ceramic, a material commonly used in orthopedic devices. The endplates have a titanium coating that helps them bond with the adjacent vertebrae. The core has a biconvex shape that allows it to rotate and slide along the endplates, creating a variable center of rotation and a coupled motion pattern. The Simplify cervical disc is designed to fit the patient’s anatomy, protect the facet joints, and prevent overstuffing of the disc space.

One of the advantages of the Simplify cervical disc is that it is nickel-free and has no metal on the articulating surfaces, which reduces the risk of metal-wear debris and allergic reactions. Another advantage is that it allows for better visualization of the spine using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after surgery, as the PEEK endplates and ceramic core do not interfere with the MRI signal. This can help monitor the health and function of the implant and the surrounding tissues.

The Simplify cervical disc surgery is performed through an anterior approach, meaning that the surgeon accesses the spine from the front of the neck. The surgeon removes the damaged disc and any bone spurs that may be compressing the nerves or spinal cord. Then, the surgeon creates slot cuts in the vertebrae to accommodate the endplates of the Simplify cervical disc. The surgeon inserts the Simplify cervical disc into the disc space and finalizes its position and alignment. The surgery typically takes about an hour per level and requires general anesthesia.

The Simplify cervical disc surgery is intended to restore the natural motion and function of the cervical spine, while relieving the symptoms of cervical disc degeneration. However, as with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications associated with the Simplify cervical disc surgery, such as bleeding, infection, nerve damage, implant failure, adjacent segment degeneration, and loss of motion. Therefore, patients should consult with their physician to understand the benefits and risks of the Simplify cervical disc surgery and to determine if they are suitable candidates for this procedure.

© NuVasive, Inc. All rights reserved. Video used with permission.

The animation above illustrates the physiological motion of the Simplify Cervical Disc implant from Nuvasive. It provides detailed information regarding the range of motion of the implant. Of particular interest is the multi-axis and multidimensional nature of the designed range of motion.

© NuVasive, Inc. All rights reserved Used with permission.