April 22, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
On April 22, 2007, Dr. Wayne Cheng performed the first ever joint replacement surgery for a lumbar spine in the Inland Empire.

Although medical technology has greatly advanced in the last 100 years, many of the ills that afflict the elderly population continue. The degenerative process of aging still creates pinched nerves (spinal stenosis) and unstable spines (spondylolisthesis). The results of the process results in individuals being only able to walk short distances or having to lean heavily on walkers or shopping carts with severely hunched backs.

Doctors were frequently left with no other alternative but to eliminate motion by fusing the spine. Results were myriad. While some had perfect results other were completely debilitated after surgery.

Within the last few years, artificial discs have excited the medical community. They have revolutionized several types of spine surgery. However, artificial discs have been unable to rectify the issues of spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis.

At Loma Linda University Hospital, Dr. Cheng has led a medical team of visionaries to combat the debilitating effects of aging.

On April 10, 2007, Dr. Cheng operated on a patient in her fifties with severe chronic back pain. Such pain radiated down her left leg. The Patient had to quit her job as a cashier because she could not stand for long periods of time. For the past year, she was unemployed partly due to the effects of her leg. Her prognosis was possible permanent unrelenting pain for the rest of her life.

The results of the surgery were a complete success. Patient walked out of the hospital within days of her surgery no longer feeling the pain that had limited her life.

Although clinical trials for this surgery continue, Dr. Cheng hopes to continue to spearhead the ongoing investigational device study to bring this revolutionary technology to Southern California.

Dr. Wayne Cheng is an orthopedic spine surgeon at Loma Linda University Hospital. He is also an Assistant Professor at the medical school. He was a graduate from Loma Linda University School of Medicine. He completed his fellowship in complex spine reconstruction at Duke University Medical Center. He continues to be one of the pioneers in minimal invasive surgical techniques as well as a leading researcher in motion preservation technology. Dr. Cheng can be contacted at