Video: Banner Health spine surgeon performs implant of revolutionary new cervical disc
Artificial disc provides range of motion equal to a human’s neck anatomy
I look at it like the difference between an iPhone 3 and an iPhone 11. Just like any technology, I want to know I’m getting the latest and greatest.


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MESA, Ariz. (Oct. 16, 2019) – An orthopedic spine surgeon at Banner Desert Medical Center on Tuesday became the first at Banner Health to perform a cervical disc replacement surgery using a new artificial disc that gives patients immediate relief, often from excruciating pain, and provides range of motion that mimics a human disc in the neck. Rafath Baig, MD, implanted the M6-C disc, which recently received FDA approval.

“The great thing about this newest device is that it doesn’t lock down the vertebrae, but, rather, it retains the natural head and neck motion,” Dr. Baig said. “This is a new gold standard in artificial cervical disc replacement.” 

The patient, 49-year-old Kimberly Stengrim, woke on Aug. 19 to unbearable pain in her shoulder and down her arm. “My arm felt like it was being squeezed in a vice,” she said. “My chiropractor recognized the severity of the situation and recommended an MRI, which revealed a ruptured disc in my neck.”

Stengrim tried conventional relief, including nerve blocking medication, muscle relaxers and physical therapy, but nothing worked. She was contemplating anterior neck fusion, until she had a consultation with Dr. Baig. When he reviewed the MRI he saw that the ruptured disc was placing pressure on the spinal cord and critical nerve, causing her extreme pain, numbness and tingling down her arm.

“As soon as I met Dr. Baig and he told me about this new artificial disc, I was sold,” Stengrim said. “I look at it like the difference between an iPhone 3 and an iPhone 11,” she said. “Just like any technology, I want to know I’m getting the latest and greatest.”

The surgery doesn’t require an overnight stay and patients can move their neck immediately, unlike with a fusion, which requires a neck brace and limited movement for several days. Stengrim, who hasn’t been able to work since Aug. 20, said she’s looking forward to getting her life back.

The M6-C artificial disc replacement may not be right for all patients. Individual should consult with a trained physician for evaluation on a case-by-case basis.

The M6-C artificial cervical disc was developed by Spinal Kinetics, a company acquired by Orthofix, a global medical device company focused on musculoskeletal products and therapies. The implant received FDA approval in February.

About Banner Desert Medical Center

Banner Desert Medical Center is a nonprofit hospital in Mesa, Arizona, providing a range of inpatient and outpatient services, including emergency services, Level I trauma care, cancer care, heart care, orthopedics, women and infant services, rehabilitation, neurological care and more. The medical center is one of the most comprehensive hospitals in Arizona and serves as a regional referral center in the East Valley of metropolitan Phoenix. The medical campus is also home to Cardon Children’s Medical Center. Both facilities are owned and operated by Banner Health, the largest provider of health care services in Arizona. For more information, visit

About Rafath Baig, MD

Dr. Baig is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship trained spinal surgeon, practicing in Mesa and Scottsdale.

Diagram of M6-C artificial disc. (Orthofix)
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Dr. Rafath Baig, left, and patient Kimberly Stengrim after surgery.
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Full transcript of b-roll footage and interviews.
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