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Medtronic Spinal Introduces New Surgical System

Medtronic Inc. has launched a series of electronic instruments for instrumented or reconstructive spine surgery. The Powerease system is compatible with two Medtronic pedicle screws already on the market—the CD Horizon Solera spinal system and the TSRH 3Dx spinal system. Pedicle screws usually are implanted into the vertebral pedicle to provide anchor points for rods in spinal fusion surgery. Powerease also is integrated with Medtronic products Nim-Eclipse neuromonitoring, O-Arm imaging, and Stealthstation navigation systems, giving spinal surgery with Powerease the ability to be more precise.

Powerease is used to drill, tap and drive specialized surgical spinal implants for both open and minimally invasive surgery. Medtronic executives are confident the system will be beneficial to both patients and surgeons.

“Biomechanical testing demonstrated that when compared with traditional instruments used for delivering spinal therapy, the Powerease system reduces surgeon’s fatigue associated with repetitive hand motion and enhances surgeon control, including in complex reconstructions of the spine,” said Doug King, senior vice president and president of Medtronic Spinal. Risks associated with the system include breakage, slippage, misuse, or mishandling of instruments (such as on sharp edges), which may cause injury to the patient or operative personnel.

The Powerease system demonstrated 51 percent less time required for tapping the pedicle and 55 percent less time required for placing pedicle screws during testing. This testing also showed greater control with 38 percent less wobble, defined as maximum radial movement of the instrument from the center axis of the instrument or screw when placing pedicle screws, compared to manual instruments. Biomechanical testing, however, is not necessarily indicative of human clinical outcome.

Medtronic Spinal, based in Memphis, Tenn., provides a range of products and technologies for the treatment of spinal conditions.

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