Healthcare Technology Featured Article

April 19, 2023

Innovative Medical Devices That Can Help Recover Your Injured Back

Sometimes traditional treatment methods and surgeries are not enough to permanently heal an injured back. Studies show that around a quarter of back operations are unsuccessful, resulting in failed back surgery syndrome, leaving the patient no better, or worse than they were before.

Fortunately, medical advancements have brought about new methods that can help cure the symptoms of various back conditions, while maintaining a full range of motion in the patient’s spine. In this article, we will discuss these innovative medical devices in more detail and how they can help recover your injured back.

What Spine Conditions And Diseases May Require Back Surgery

There are many people around the world who may be suffering from a back condition without even realizing it, experiencing no noticeable symptoms and the problem having no impact on their daily life. However, most people are less fortunate and can experience severe pain and reduced mobility.

There is a range of treatments that a person can try to help ease the symptoms but these treatments are not always successful. Therefore, these severe spine conditions and diseases may require back surgery. Some of the most common ones include:

  • A Herniated disc: A herniated disc occurs when the soft material inside a spinal disc pushes through a crack in the tough exterior. Surgery may be needed if the herniation is causing severe pain or weakness, and non-surgical treatments have not helped.
  • Spinal stenosis: Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that can put pressure on the nerves and cause pain, numbness, and weakness. Surgery may be needed to relieve the pressure on the nerves and prevent further damage.
  • Degenerative disc disease: Degenerative disc disease is a condition where the discs in the spine gradually break down and lose their ability to cushion the vertebrae. Surgery may be needed if the discs are causing severe pain or nerve damage.
  • Spondylolisthesis: Spondylolisthesis is a condition where a vertebra slips out of place and onto the vertebra below it. Surgery may be needed if the slippage is severe and causes nerve compression.
  • Spinal tumors: Surgery may be needed to remove tumors in the spine, especially if they are causing pain, weakness, or other neurological symptoms.
  • Spinal fractures: Surgery may be needed to stabilize the spine and prevent further damage in the case of severe spinal fractures.

Traditional Back Surgery And Its Disadvantages

While traditional back surgery can be effective in treating certain spinal conditions, it has several disadvantages and risks that should be carefully considered before deciding on this type of treatment.

One of the key drawbacks of surgery such as spinal fusion is that it may result in a limited range of motion, which can impact a person's ability to perform daily activities. Another is the deterioration of adjacent vertebrae over time, caused by rods and screws that keep the fused bone in place.

Types of back surgery include:

  • Laminectomy (Spinal Decompression): A laminectomy is a procedure that is performed to cure spinal stenosis. Stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal, resulting in pressure on the nerves and spinal cord, causing pain, weakness, and numbness. A laminectomy removed part of the vertebra (the lamina) to create more space and therefore, ease any pressure.
  • Discectomy: A discectomy is a surgery to remove a herniated disc that is pressing on the nerves to cause pain, and potentially other leading to other conditions such as sciatica. A discectomy and a laminectomy are generally performed together in the same procedure.
  • Spinal Fusion: Spinal fusion surgery is the process of removing a disc between two or more vertebrae, then fusing the vertebrae together using a bone graft and metal rods and screws. This provides stability to the spine but also significantly reduces mobility and has a long healing process so that the bones fuse together fully.
  • Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty: These two procedures repair vertebrae that have suffered a compression fracture. They involve injecting a ‘bone cement’ that seals the fractures and strengthens the bone.
  • Foraminotomy: This procedure enlarges holes where nerve roots leave the spinal canal, easing any pressure from ruptured discs or thickened joints.
  • Nucleoplasty (Plasma Disk Decompression) - This is a form of laser and radiofrequency surgery to improve the condition of a herniated disc before it becomes severe. The plasma laser reduces the cushioned tissue within the disc, relieving pressure on the surrounding nerves.

The Premia Spine TOPS System

Artificial disc replacements have been around for quite a while and are seen as a safe and reliable alternative to spinal fusion. This surgery replaces discs that are herniated or significantly damaged, replacing them with a synthetic disc that helps to support the vertebrae and works in the same way as a natural disc.

Further advancements have now seen the development of devices that effectively replace a person’s vertebrae, also used as a modern alternative to spinal fusion to treat conditions such as spondylolisthesis and lumbar spinal stenosis.

The Premia Spine TOPS System is a game-changing and innovative medical device that provides numerous advantages when compared to outdated spinal fusion surgery.

The key benefits of the TOPS System are:

  1. The primary benefit of the TOPS System is that it retains full mobility in the spine, allowing the patient to move in all directions after the surgery. Including lateral bending, axial rotation, extensions, and flexion.
  2. The system cushions any force that is exerted on the spine during the above movements, preventing any further damage during the recovery process.
  3. Clinical studies show that the device offers immediate pain relief, this is because the system provides maximum stability to the posterior spine.
  4. The device helps the spine become stronger over time, improving a person’s quality of life in the long term.
  5. Studies show that the TOPS System demonstrates much better outcomes when compared to spinal fusion surgery. Particularly patients suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis.

Thank you for reading. We hope this article has provided valuable insight into the modern alternatives to traditional back surgery, and the innovative medical devices that make this happen.

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