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Surgeons Share Spine Device Trends and Challenges

Cost, long-term results and clinical evidence remain at the top of surgeons’ lists when choosing which spinal device to use. In anticipation of spine companies and surgeons meeting at NASS this November, ORTHOKNOW® queried surgeons about the trends that excite them, the challenges they face and what they want device manufacturers to know.

This article originally appeared in the October issue of ORTHOKNOW.

The surgeon voices include:
Henry Aryan, M.D., spine surgeon at Sierra Pacific Orthopedics
R. Thomas Grotz, M.D., orthopaedic microsurgeon, spine device inventor (consulted with Sigurd Berven, M.D., professor in residence, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, UC San Francisco)
Hooman M. Melamed, M.D., board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon for DISC Sports & Spine Center
Amir Vokshoor, M.D., neurological spine surgeon at DISC Sports & Spine Center

What current trends excite you in spine—what procedures and products particularly catch your eye, and why?

Aryan small_WEBHenry Aryan, M.D.: None, really. I think spine technology and products available now are of high quality. The issue is trying to treat surgical problems in a cost-effective and long-term manner.

Grotz small_WEBR. Thomas Grotz, M.D.:
New expanding cages that better align and repair spine maladies.

MoomanMelamed small_WEBHooman M. Melamed, M.D.:
Stem cell therapy has a lot of potential application in spine surgery, especially for patients with degenerative disc problems. There’s great potential to reverse or stop the natural, degenerative aging process, which could ultimately save a patient from requiring an operation. The role of non-fusion technology is also exciting. Dynamic stabilization could be developed more, and similarly save the patient from having to undergo fusion.

Amir Vokshoor_small_WEBAmir Vokshoor, M.D.: I am most excited by the advancements in biologics and stem cells to regenerate disc, cartilage and eventually nerves. There are exciting technologies being developed in nanoplatforms, which create scaffolding of biological tissue growth with stem cells, as an added stimulation. These platforms could restore or regenerate injured tissues back to health. There is also great potential in the use of pluripotential stem cells in order to regenerate disc and cartilaginous tissue.


Continue reading about the spine segment:

What's Ahead for Healthcare?
Spine Product Launches in 2014

Zoning In with Spine CEOs:

Todd Andres, Spinal Elements
Robert Weigle, Benvenue Medical
Trent Northcutt, Aurora Spine