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Patent Issued for Prosthetic Intervertebral Discs That Are Implantable by Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques and That Have Cores That Are...

August 20, 2014

Patent Issued for Prosthetic Intervertebral Discs That Are Implantable by Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques and That Have Cores That Are Insertable in Situ Using End Plate Guideways

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventor Chee, Uriel Hiram (Santa Cruz, CA), filed on April 1, 2008, was published online on August 5, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8795374 is Spinal Kinetics Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The intervertebral disc is an anatomically and functionally complex joint. The intervertebral disc is composed of three component structures: (1) the nucleus pulposus; (2) the annulus fibrosus; and (3) the vertebral end plates. The biomedical composition and anatomical arrangements within these component structures are related to the biomechanical function of the disc.

"The spinal disc may be displaced or damaged due to trauma or a disease process. If displacement or damage occurs, the nucleus pulposus may herniate and protrude into the vertebral canal or intervertebral foramen. Such deformation is known as herniated or slipped disc. A herniated or slipped disc may press upon the spinal nerve that exits the vertebral canal through the partially obstructed foramen, causing pain or paralysis in the area of its distribution.

"To alleviate this condition, it may be necessary to remove the involved disc surgically and fuse the two adjacent vertebrae. In this procedure, a spacer is inserted in the place originally occupied by the disc and the spacer is secured between the neighboring vertebrae by the screws and plates or rods attached to the vertebrae. Despite the excellent short-term results of such a 'spinal fusion' for traumatic and degenerative spinal disorders, long-term studies have shown that alteration of the biomechanical environment leads to degenerative changes particularly at adjacent mobile segments. The adjacent discs have increased motion and stress due to the increased stiffness of the fused segment. In the long term, this change in the mechanics of the motion of the spine causes these adjacent discs to degenerate.

"Artificial intervertebral replacement discs may be used as an alternative to spinal fusion."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "Prosthetic intervertebral discs and methods for using such discs are described. The subject prosthetic discs include an upper end plate, a lower end plate, and a compressible core member disposed between the two end plates. The compressible core may be introduced between the two end plates after the end plates have been placed in the intervertebral space formed after the natural disc has been removed. The described prosthetic discs have shapes, sizes, and other features that are particularly suited for implantation using minimally invasive surgical procedures, particularly from a posterior approach.

"In one variation, the described prosthetic discs include top and bottom end plates separated by one or more compressible core members. The two plates may be held together by at least one fiber wound around at least one region of the top end plate and at least one region of the bottom end plate. The described discs may include integrated vertebral body fixation elements. When considering a lumbar disc replacement from the posterior access, the two plates are preferably elongated, having a length that is substantially greater than its width. Typically, the dimensions of the prosthetic discs range in height from 8 mm to 15 mm; the width ranges from 6 mm to 13 mm. The height of the prosthetic discs ranges from 9 mm to 11 mm. The widths of the disc may be 10 mm to 12 mm. The length of the prosthetic discs may range from 18 mm to 30 mm, perhaps 24 mm to 28 mm. Typical shapes include oblong, bullet-shaped, lozenge-shaped, rectangular, or the like

"The described disc structures may be held together by at least one fiber wound around at least one region of the upper end plate and at least one region of the lower end plate. The fibers are generally high tenacity fibers with a high modulus of elasticity. The elastic properties of the fibers, as well as factors such as the number of fibers used, the thickness of the fibers, the number of layers of fiber windings in the disc, the tension applied to each layer, and the crossing pattern of the fiber windings enable the prosthetic disc structure to mimic the functional characteristics and biomechanics of a normal-functioning, natural disc.

"A number of conventional surgical approaches may be used to place a pair of prosthetic discs. Those approaches include a modified posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) and a modified transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) procedures. We also describe apparatus and methods for implanting prosthetic intervertebral discs using minimally invasive surgical procedures. In one variation, the apparatus includes a pair of cannulae that are inserted posteriorly, side-by-side, to gain access to the spinal column at the disc space. A pair of prosthetic discs may then be implanted by way of the cannulae to be located between two vertebral bodies in the spinal column.

"The prosthetic discs may be configured by selection of sizes and structures suitable for implantation by minimally invasive procedures.

"Other and additional devices, apparatus, structures, and methods are described by reference to the drawings and detailed descriptions below."

For additional information on this patent, see: Chee, Uriel Hiram. Prosthetic Intervertebral Discs That Are Implantable by Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques and That Have Cores That Are Insertable in Situ Using End Plate Guideways. U.S. Patent Number 8795374, filed April 1, 2008, and published online on August 5, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Surgery, Medical Devices, Spinal Kinetics Inc..

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Source: Journal of Engineering

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