If you have back pain, your doctor will conduct a thorough examination to accurately diagnose the source and then recommend noninvasive treatment options such as physical therapy or epidural steroid injections, as well as surgery if necessary. Because each patient is unique and the cause of their back pain differs, surgical procedures differ as well, but your surgeon may recommend using a surgical implant to repair your spine.
A spinal implant is any device used by your surgeon to stabilize or repair your spine. These can range from simple screws to artificial discs and are left in your body after the procedure to help your spine function properly.
Our commitment as a leading orthopedic implant manufacturing and exporting company encourages us to stay on top of the market’s latest spinal implants, spinal surgery techniques, and technological advancements. This article discusses spinal implant types, applications, and emerging trends.
The purpose of spine implants
When the spine is unable to function normally, spinal implants provide support and stabilisation. When your spinal discs are damaged, they can shift out of place, causing additional damage to other discs and your spinal nerve canal. These implants keep vertebrae from shifting further and causing further damage. They can also reduce pain in patients by preventing further nerve canal damage.
Spinal implants are used to treat a variety of back pain conditions. These are tools that enable surgeons to provide patients with solutions. Consider how you would use a hammer or a screwdriver. These tools are not intended for a single project or task. Instead, they can be used in a variety of ways to assist you with a variety of projects. Spinal implants are comparable. They offer treatments for a variety of conditions and fractures.
Conditions when spinal implants would be used
Scoliosis: rods can prevent the spine from curving further while straightening the vertebrae.
Kyphosis: Kyphosis is characterized by an exaggerated rounding of the upper back. Spinal implants can help patients stand up straighter by reducing this curvature.
Degenerative Disc Disease: Doctors can replace worn-out or broken discs in the spine with artificial implants. This gives patients more mobility than spinal fusion surgery.
Fracture: If a patient is involved in an accident and fractures their spine, implants can help keep the vertebrae in place. This promotes healing and prevents bones from entering the nerve canal.
Types of spinal implants
As previously stated, spinal implants are classified into two types: fusion and non-fusion. When it comes to lumbar fusion surgery, there are two types: those that are placed within the inter-body space (the disc space) and those that are placed directly onto the spine for stabilization.
Fusion is a surgical procedure that uses a bone graft to create unions between rigid bones.
Fusion spinal implants can be sorted into three groups:
Cages serve as a spacer between two vertebrae. It will become a part of the spine, allowing the bone graft to be placed and “grow” into them. (in order to allow for spinal fusion between the two vertebrae). Inter-body cages are another name for them.
Following surgery, the cages provide support and stability. Screws are not usually required.
Plates, on the other hand, are typically screwed to the vertebrae. They help to keep the spine stable.
This type of fusion is a surgical procedure in which a surgeon uses an instrument such as a plate and screws to aid in the growth of the bones. They are still sufficiently flexible to allow the spine to bend.
The spine is further stabilized by rods. They are attached to the vertebrae using hooks or pedicle screws.
Non-Fusion is an alternative to traditional spinal fusion, which joins two or more vertebrae together permanently.
Recently, the FDA gave its approval to new lumbar technology. The implants recognise that maintaining motion (normal range of motion) is preferable to fusing it. Expandable rods and artificial discs are two instruments that can be used in this kind of procedure.
A medical device that is implanted into the spine and mimics or acts like a natural disc is called an artificial disc, also known as an artificial disc replacement (ADR). Surgeons have the option of replacing the entire disc or just the nucleus (center of the disc).
The artificial disc is made to maintain motion that is as close to normal after surgery as possible.
To straighten the spine without fusing the vertebrae, expandable rods are used. The lateral spine technology pioneer NuVasive created the “Magec” system, which integrates magnetic technology into movable growing rods.
You can see from this list how doctors will utilize various spinal implants based on the patient’s needs. Another patient might be a candidate for artificial disc replacement while one patient might require a cage around two vertebrae. The surgeon who will place the implant may have personal preferences.
Use of spinal implants in different surgeries
Implants are used in a variety of surgical procedures. These implants can be made of titanium, stainless steel, or even long-lasting plastic materials designed specifically for the human body. This is not an exhaustive list of spinal implant surgeries, but the procedures listed below can help you see how they might benefit you.
Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF): is a procedure in which your doctor enters your lower abdomen to access your spine from the front. This allows them to fuse two vertebrae together without risking spinal cord damage.
Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF): This fusion procedure is similar to the ALIF model, but the doctor enters through your lower back.
Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF): Your doctor will enter through the foramina, which are openings in the spine where nerve roots enter. They will then complete the lumbar fusion procedure.
Axial Lumbar Interbody Fusion (AxiaLIF): Your doctor enters your spine through a small incision in the tailbone and inserts rods to fuse your vertebrae. This is classified as a minimally invasive procedure.
The goal of all of these surgeries is to select the least invasive method of approaching the patient’s spine. Your doctor wants to reduce the possibility of damaging the nerves in your spinal cord while increasing the likelihood of a successful operation. They also want to decrease your chances of infection and recovery time. All of these variables will influence your surgeon’s preferred point of entry.
Pros and cons of spinal implants
Spinal implants have far more advantages than disadvantages. The main advantage is that it offers long-term solutions to back pain. Rather than treating the symptoms of back pain, surgery addresses the underlying cause. While pain medication and temperature therapy can alleviate pain, they do not address the underlying cause.
Furthermore, advancements in spinal implant technology can help to maintain (and even improve) patient mobility. Patients can move their spines with modern spinal fusion implants, which are more flexible. By completely replacing broken discs, artificial disc replacement eliminates the need for spinal fusion.
While implants benefit the vast majority of patients, there are some drawbacks to this type of treatment. Any type of surgery carries risks. Even minimally invasive outpatient procedures will necessitate patient preparation and a recovery period. If your doctor recommends that you have a spinal implant inserted, you will be unable to work for two to six weeks following the procedure. Your body must heal and adjust to the new materials that support your vertebrae.
Zealmax Ortho, has been the Orthopedic Implants Manufacturers and Exporters for over a period of 12+ years and takes pride in being committed to innovating and delivering genuine and quality products that are helping people spring back to life without any pause or restrictions.