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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on June 21, 2016


Tidelands Health spine surgeon performs the region’s first cervical disc replacement

A Tidelands Health spine surgeon has performed the region’s first cervical disc replacement.  The innovative procedure is designed to relieve nerve pain caused by herniated cervical discs and cervical arthritis that affects a significant number of patients.  

Dr. T. Scott Ellison, a fellowship-trained spine surgeon who is board certified in orthopedic surgery, performed the surgery on a patient at Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital earlier this month. Dr. Ellison is employed by Tidelands Waccamaw Orthopaedics and Spine.

The procedure, which takes about an hour, involves removing a patient’s cervical disc, at one or two levels, and replacing it with a titanium disc about the size and shape of a dime. The titanium disc is expected to last a lifetime.

Dr. Ellison says the surgery is less invasive than traditional fusion surgery and may allow patients to resume their normal routines more quickly. The surgery, which can be performed on an outpatient basis, has been shown to reduce the rate of subsequent cervical spine surgeries by decreasing degenerative changes in the discs above and below the disc replacement.

The titanium cervical disc is the only one of its kind approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and in clinical trials has shown a success rate nearly twice as high as traditional cervical fusion results.

Dr. Ellison is available for interviews to discuss this new procedure and to demonstrate, using a titanium disc and skeletal models, how the new procedure works. To arrange an interview, e-mail Margaret Lamb or call 843-957-3119.


Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider and MUSC Health affiliate, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 70 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners work side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.