Spinal Implants Revolution & Purpose

There are many reasons a person can experience back pain. Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) has reported it to be the single leading cause of disability across the globe. Around 80% of adults experience low back pain some time in their life according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The more common reasons range from strains and sprains, normal wear and tear that occurs in bones and discs, to sciatica. Other low back pain could be related to tumors, infections, and diseases such as kidney stones.

For the less serious LBP (lower back pain) treatment ranges from spinal manipulation, nerve block therapies, and acupuncture. If these therapies fail, surgery may be considered. The surgery is done with the help of surgical instruments used by the surgeons that are provided by the orthopaedic implant manufacturers in India.

In more serious cases, if these therapies fail, surgery and the placement of spinal implants may be deemed essential. The spinal implants market is segregated into fusion implants or non-fusion spinal implants.

Spinal implants are used to treat many forms of deformity and back pain. Its main function is to help two vertebrae together and replace material of natural disc.

The category or group it belongs is dependent on its purpose. Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery defines the functions implants can assist with:

  • correcting deformities
  • improving and strengthening the stability of the spine
  • facilitating the fusion of two vertebrae

Types of Spinal Implants

Spinal implants are medical devices used by surgeons to treat the above conditions.

As mentioned earlier, Spine Implants fall into two groups, fusion, and non-fusion. When it comes to lumbar fusion surgery, the two groups can be categorized as those placed within the inter-body space (the disc space) or positioned directly onto the spine for stabilization.

Fusion– It is a surgical procedure to create unions between rigid bones utilizing a bone graft.

Fusion spinal implants can be classified into three groups:

  1. Cages
  2. Plates
  3. Rods

Cages perform as a space holder between 2 vertebrae. It will become a portion of the spine; thus the bone graft can be placed to enable “growth” into them. They are also called inter-body cages.

The cages provide stability and support after surgery. They normally don’t need screws.

As stated by Spine-health, “new studies have revealed the material used could affect the successful bony fusion growth. Titanium cages with nanotechnology surface favor bone formation.”

Plates, on the other hand, are often attached with bone screws to the vertebrae. They support in stabilizing the spine.

This kind of fusion is a process in which a surgeon uses orthopedic implants such as a plate and screws to help the bones grow together. They are still flexible enough to enable the spine to bend.

Rods also help in spine stabilization. They relate to pedicle screws or hooks to the vertebrae.

Non-fusion– It is an alternative to the traditional spinal fusion, which permanently affixes 2 or more bones in the spine.Recently, new lumbar technology has been permitted by the FDA. The concept of these implants acknowledges the use of preserving movement (normal range of movement) rather than fusing it.

Expandable rods and artificial disc are two ways in which this kind of procedure can be performed. Artificial discs also called artificial disc replacement (ADR) is a medical device implanted into the spine that imitates or acts as a normal disc. Surgeons can replace the whole disc or take away only the nucleus (center of the disc).

The artificial disc is intended to preserve motion after surgery that is as close to normal as possible.

Expandable rods are utilized to straighten the spine without fusing the vertebrae.

For pediatric surgeons, children with scoliosis have the choice to control the development of deformity with adjustable growing rods, while minimizing the number of invasive surgeries that would have been needed over time.

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