Kenmore Mercy Participates in Groundbreaking Lower Back Study

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January 13, 2009

As part of a national feasibility study, Kenmore Mercy and Dr. Andrew Cappuccino, Orthopedic surgeon, recently treated the first East Coast patients with the DASCOR® Disc Arthoplasty System. Developed by orthopedic spine company Disc Dynamics Inc., DASCOR is an experimental minimally invasive nucleus replacement system designed to reduce pain, restore function, preserve anatomy and speed recovery in individuals suffering from lower back pain brought on by degenerative disc disease (DDD).

 Using DASCOR, the surgeon removes the patient’s diseased nucleus (the soft inner portion of the disc) and then replaces it with a patient-specific implant designed to fit and function like the patient’s own natural nucleus. The DASCOR implant is a proprietary polymer delivered in liquid form to the nucleus area with a small, pencil diameter-sized catheter. Once implanted, it form fits to the patient’s unique anatomy and solidifies within minutes.

An anatomy-preserving procedure designed to treat patients earlier in the cascade of DDD, DASCOR is indicated for patients who are no longer responding to non-operative care and are seeking a motion-preserving surgical treatment option. DASCOR was first implanted in patients in 2002. Since then, it has been supported by clinical studies on more than 100 patients.

 "Our goal is to bring the best care and most advanced surgical technology to the people of Buffalo, and with the DASCOR Disc Arthroplasty System we are doing exactly that," said Dr. Cappuccino, who performed the procedure on two patients at Kenmore Mercy Hospital in December. "With our first patients showing great progress, we look forward to helping others like them who suffer from the lower back pain associated with degenerative disc disease."

Back pain is a significant health issue in the United States, affecting approximately 1.3 million Americans. DDD is an age- and lifestyle-related condition in which the spinal disc nucleus breaks down over time. It frequently occurs in the lumbar (lower back) region; and its symptoms include moderate to severe back and/or leg pain, which may limit everyday physical activity. The traditional surgical treatment for DDD, fusion, is an invasive, irreversible procedure that requires a lengthy recovery time and limits spinal motion. However, nucleus replacement with the DASCOR System, a new experimental motion-preserving procedure, could offer patients promising surgical treatment alternatives to fusion.

To learn more about the benefits of this state-of-the-art technology, the 3D Clinical Trial of the DASCOR System, or to view an animation of the procedure, visit