News Column

"Nucleus Prosthesis" in Patent Application Approval Process

June 5, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- A patent application by the inventors Vila, Thierry (Paris, FR); Dufour, Henry (Marseille, FR); Jerome, Allain (Bagnolet, FR), filed on January 20, 2014, was made available online on May 22, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to Ldr Medical.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "An intervertebral disc located between two vertebrae in the spine provides structural support and distributes forces exerted on the spinal column. Besides holding the vertebrae together, enabling upright posture and natural curvature of the spine (lordosis or kyphosis, for example, within normal physiological ranges), a healthy intervertebral disc enables flexion, extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation of the vertebrae.

"The major components of an intervertebral disc include the annulus fibrosus, the nucleus pulposus, and cartilage endplates. The annulus fibrosus is a tough, fibrous ring attached to the vertebrae directly above and below the disc space. The tire-like annulus fibrosus supports the adjacent vertebrae and limits their relative displacements in translation and rotation. The annulus fibrosus also contains the nucleus pulposus. The nucleus pulposus is the central portion of the disc, comprising a relatively soft, gel-like substance that provides many of the articulation and cushioning properties of the intervertebral disc.

"Intervertebral discs may be injured or become damaged by disease or aging. A common problem is disc herniation, in which portions of the nucleus pulposus is extruded through an opening in the annulus. Portions of the nucleus pulposus protruding into the vertebral canal may press on a spinal nerve, often resulting in nerve damage, intense pain, numbness, reduced mobility, and muscle weakness. When degeneration or disease of the natural intervertebral disc has progressed to the point where non-operative care such as medication, injections, and/or physical therapy is ineffective, surgical intervention may be required.

"A common procedure for treatment of a degenerated or diseased intervertebral disc involves removal of the natural tissues of the disc and fusion of the adjacent vertebrae (intervertebral arthrodesis). Another frequently used procedure, generally considered before the intervertebral arthrodesis, implies the withdrawal of the natural tissues and the replacement of the intervertebral disc by an intervertebral disc prosthesis."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Various embodiments of the present invention provide nucleus prostheses comprising a plurality of segments, including a leading segment and a trailing segment, and a linkage coupling the segments. The prosthesis of various embodiments has an open position in which the segments are disposed along the linkage in a serial line with the leading segment at an end of the serial line and the trailing segment at another end of the serial line, and a closed position in which the segments are disposed to form a disc shape with the leading segment and the trailing segment substantially apposed.

"Various embodiments of the instant invention are configured for use as a fusion device (e.g., for an arthrodesis). However, fusion eliminates the mobility between the adjacent vertebrae and can transfer stresses and movements to the intervertebral discs above and/or below the point of fusion. Accordingly, a treatment that maintains some mobility of the vertebrae directly above and below the disc space may be preferred. Various embodiments of the present invention may be configured for use to maintain some mobility of the vertebrae directly above and below the disc space.

"Various embodiments of a method are disclosed (as an illustration). For example, an embodiment of method includes inserting a plurality of linked segments into an annulus fibrosus and closing the nucleus prosthesis so that a first segment (e.g., a leading segment) inserted into the annulus fibrosus and a last segment (e.g., a trailing segment) inserted into the annulus fibrosus are substantially abutted.

"The details of one or more embodiments of the invention are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the descriptions of this disclosure. Other features, objects, and advantages of the invention will be apparent after appreciating the description, drawings, and the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a side view of a section of a spine.

"FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a section of a spine.

"FIGS. 3A and 3B are perspective views of exemplary nucleus prostheses in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIGS. 4A and 4B are top views of exemplary nucleus prostheses in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an insertion instrument in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 6 is an obverse cross-sectional view of an exemplary nucleus prosthesis being surgically implanted into an intervertebral disc in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 7 is an obverse cross-sectional view of an exemplary nucleus prosthesis being surgically implanted in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of a section of the human backbone after the surgical implantation of an exemplary nucleus prosthesis in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an exemplary nucleus prosthesis in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 10 is a top view of an exemplary nucleus prosthesis in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an exemplary nucleus prosthesis in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 12 is a top view of an exemplary nucleus prosthesis in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIGS. 13A and 13B are a perspective view and a plan view, respectively, of an exemplary nucleus prosthesis in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 14 is a perspective view of an exemplary retainer for use with an nucleus prosthesis in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 15 is a perspective view of an exemplary nucleus prosthesis in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 16 is a perspective view of an exemplary nucleus prosthesis in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 17 is a perspective view of an exemplary nucleus prosthesis in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional view of the exemplary nucleus prosthesis of FIG. 17 in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 19 is another cross-sectional view of the exemplary nucleus prosthesis of FIG. 17 in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 20 is a perspective view of an exemplary nucleus prosthesis in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 21 is a perspective view of an exemplary nucleus prosthesis in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 22 is a perspective view of an exemplary enclosure in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 23 is a perspective view of an exemplary enclosure in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 24 is a perspective view of an exemplary nucleus prosthesis assembly in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 25 is an obverse cross-sectional view of an exemplary prosthesis being inserted into an enclosure in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 26 schematically depicts the insertion of a prosthesis in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 27 schematically depicts the insertion of a prosthesis in accordance with some embodiments.

"FIG. 28 depicts an embodiment comprising spinal fixation components.

"FIG. 29 depicts an embodiment comprising flexible spinal stabilization components.

"FIG. 30 depicts an embodiment comprising multiple prostheses.

"FIG. 31 depicts an embodiment configured to mitigate or impose lordosis."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Vila, Thierry; Dufour, Henry; Jerome, Allain. Nucleus Prosthesis. Filed January 20, 2014 and posted May 22, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1369&p=28&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140515.PD.&OS=PD/20140515&RS=PD/20140515

Keywords for this news article include: Surgery, Arthrodesis, Ldr Medical, Prosthetics, Medical Devices, Orthopedic Procedures.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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