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Medtronic Launches Multiple Products at NASS

During the recent annual meeting of the North American Spine Society (NASS, Oct. 23-27), Medtronic’s Spinal division was prolific with its new product introductions.

Even as much of the attention paid to Medtronic last week was focused on the news of recent U.S. Senate findings about its Infuse bone growth product, company officials focused squarely on the firm’s new technology.

Among the new rollouts were devices that reinforce the company’s portfolio of posterior degenerative interbody technology, expanding Medtronic’s broad offerings for both open and minimally invasive procedural solutions. The launch featured posterior interbody devices that expand, rotate and articulate.

The interbody portfolio includes the Wave platform of products with expandable implants for posterior lumbar interbody fusion surgeries. To broaden the offerings for lumbar interbody fusions, the new portfolio also features a pivoting implant for easier placement as well as a titanium implant that can be inserted and rotated longitudinally.

The products are available for sale both in the United States and Europe and come to Medtronic following the acquisition of the German company Advanced Medical Technologies AG (AMT), which was announced earlier this year.

The company also launced the Capstone Control Spinal System. With the ability to insert and rotate longitudinally, the system provides an interbody device with the potential for less neural retraction when compared to the impacted technique, according to the company. Risks of this device include possible neurological impairment.

“We have strengthened our industry leading lumbar interbody fusion portfolio that increases surgeon options in treating the unique needs of their patients,” said Doug King, senior vice president and president of Medtronic Spinal. “It also provides customers and patients with greater access to established technologies through our sales distribution network, while AMT’s strong presence outside the United States further globalizes our business.”

Interbody fusion devices are indicated for use with autogenous bone graft and supplemental fixation instrumentation cleared for use in the lumbar spine in patients with Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) at one or two levels from L2 to S1. These DDD patients may also have up to Grade 1 spondylolisthesis or retrolisthesis at the involved levels.

MIS Spinal Surgery
Medtronic also unveiled its Oblique Lateral Interbody Fusion (OLIF) 25 Procedure for minimally invasive spinal fusion. According to the company, the procedure allows for psoas preserving access to the L2-L5 levels and incorporates Medtronic’s surgical platform of access, interbody, neuromonitoring, navigation, fixation and biologic options. The psoas is a long muscle located on the side of the lumbar region of the back.

The procedure leverages traditional anterior lumbar interbody fusion principles with the in-situ convenience of the less-invasive lateral approach. Using an oblique lateral trajectory away from the posterior nerves within the psoas muscle, this procedure is an alternative to approaches dependent on neuromonitoring to traverse the psoas muscle. In addition, the OLIF25 procedure allows for easier access around the iliac crest at L4-L5, and it is a step toward more reproducible lateral access to the L5-S1 disc space, according to Medtronic officials.

“The OLIF25 Procedure combines the advantages of the historical open retroperitoneal approach to the anterior spine with the minimally invasive access benefits from more recent lateral techniques,” said Dr. Richard Hynes, spine surgeon at The B.A.C.K. Center in Melbourne, Fla. “By utilizing an oblique lateral approach to the spine, this procedure enables placement of a large interbody graft into the disc space for anterior column support and segmental sagittal alignment while minimizing the nerve, muscle, and bone obstacles associated with traditional direct lateral approaches.”

In the United States, more 250,000 people undergo spinal fusions annually to treat degenerative changes in the lumbar spine.

New MIS Screw System
Also at NASS, Medtronic introduced its The Anchor FS Facet Fixation System (photo above left), a minimally invasive posterior screw system used in the lumbar region of the spine. It is intended to provide stability by fixation through the facet joints. The system includes a single-use sterile packed instrument set with a variety of cannulated screw options to accommodate varying patient anatomy.

Anchor FS is indicated for posterior surgical treatment of any or all of the following in the lumbar region of the spine, at single or multiple levels: trauma, including spinal fractures and/or dislocations; spondylolisthesis; spondylolysis; pseudoarthrosis or failed previous fusions that are symptomatic or may cause secondary instability or deformity; degenerative disc disease as defined by back pain of discogenic origin as confirmed by patient history with degeneration of the disc as confirmed by radiographic studies; and/or degenerative disease of the facets with instability.

The system is intended to stabilize the spine as an aid to lumbar fusion by providing bilateral facet fixation, with or without bone graft. It is the latest technology in a series of therapies that compliments Medtronic Spinal’s minimally invasive MAST portfolio to treat patients for a variety of degenerative and deformity spinal conditions.

The Spinal division of Minneapolis, Minn.-based Medtronic is located in Memphis, Tenn.

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