Patent number 8702798 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present application generally relates to intervertebral implants, and more particularly, to an expandable intervertebral implant.
"An intervertebral implant is inserted after removal of an intervertebral disk for stabilizing the intervertebral region until bone material which is filled in at the same time has grown to an osseous connection and strengthening.
"An expandable intervertebral implant is known from U.S. Pat. No. 6,176,882 B1. The intervertebral implant comprises two spaced side walls, a front wall connecting the side walls at one end thereof, a back wall connecting the side walls at the other end, the walls defining a corresponding space within the walls, a bottom face, a top face, each face extending transversely to said walls, at least one engagement member disposed within the space defined by said walls, said engagement member having a surface oriented toward one of the bottom face or the top face, and two wedge members which are supported in the front wall and the back wall by a threaded spindle having two ends and two portions with opposite thread pitches, one end of the threaded spindle being rotationally supported in the front wall and the other end being rotationally supported in the back wall. The two wedge members are supported within the space in such a manner that, upon rotation of the threaded spindle in one direction, a distance between the wedge members decreases and, upon rotation of the threaded spindle in an opposite direction, the distance between the wedge members increases. The wedge members operate to move the engagement member reciprocally. The outer contour of the expandable intervertebral implant is rectangular. Therefore, the wedge members can be supported on one single threaded spindle.
"Another expandable intervertebral implant is known, for example, from WO 2005/058209 A2. The implant includes a body having a longitudinal axis and including first and second axial walls spaced apart along a transverse axis, first and second transverse end walls extending between and interconnecting the first and second axial walls. The intervertebral implant includes an expansion member co-acting with the axial walls to expand the body along the transverse axis. The outer contour of the implant in a plane parallel to the end plates of the vertebral body is also rectangular. An intervertebral implant with a rectangular contour does not fit perfectly to the shape of the end plates of the vertebral body. For certain applications an anatomically-shaped intervertebral implant is desired.
"US 2005/0125062 discloses a height adjustable intervertebral implant which has an anatomical shape.
"Based on the above, there is a need to provide an expandable intervertebral implant which allows a facilitated insertion and at the same time has an improved simple handling of the expansion mechanism."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The disclosure relates to an expandable intervertebral implant comprising a front wall, a back wall and a two side walls connecting the front wall and the back wall, the walls defining a cavity having an open bottom and top, and at least one member movable in the cavity from a first position wherein its surface does not project out of the cavity and a second position wherein its surface at least partially projects out of the cavity. The implant is actively expandable from either of two sides. Further, the implant has an anatomical shape.
"The intervertebral implant is anatomically-shaped, in particular, it has a banana-shape or a kidney-shape. However, due to the expansion mechanism of the intervertebral implant according to the invention, it can be easily adapted to have any other shape which is even more adapted to the natural shape of the end plate of the vertebral bodies.
"The intervertebral implant can be expanded by accessing it from either side.
"Various coupling mechanisms can be used to couple the rotational motion of one support member which serve for expanding the implant to the other support member.
"Further features and advantages of the invention will become apparent and will be best understood by reference to the following detailed description of embodiments taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Matthis, Wilfried; Biedermann, Lutz; Harms, Jurgen. Expandable Intervertebral Implant. U.S. Patent Number 8702798, filed
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