If your spinal condition has progressed to the point where it’s causing symptoms that have not responded to non-surgical therapies, your doctor may recommend spinal fusion to restore spinal stability. Using bone grafts and instrumentation, such as metal plates and screws, this procedure fuses, or creates a bond between, two adjacent vertebrae, ideally stabilizing the segment and providing relief from symptoms that may be making your life difficult.
The Spinal System allows a surgeon to treat the spine with a minimally invasive approach.
Minimally invasive spine surgery is different from traditional, “open” spine surgery in that the open approach involves making a long incision down the back, stripping large bands of muscle away from the spine and then retracting, or pulling to each side, the surrounding muscles so the surgeon can get a clear view of the vertebrae of the spine to be treated.
This minimally invasive spine surgery involves small incisions, muscle dilation and the use of microsurgical and image guided technologies to access, view and repair spinal deterioration or damage. Muscle dilation involves gently and gradually separating, rather than cutting away, the muscles that surround the spine to create a “tunnel” through which your surgeon may perform surgery. Using this system, your surgeon can insert and attach screw and rod implants to the spine with minimal muscle and tissue disruption.
To view the spine, the Spinal System incorporates an intra-operative x-ray called a fluoroscope. With the “live-action” x-rays, the surgeon is able to guide the two main elements of the system: the screw extenders and the rod inserter.
The screw extenders are long metal shafts used to deliver and attach screws to the vertebrae through small skin incisions. The rod inserter is an arc-shaped arm that swings on an axis and delivers a rod through the skin and muscle and into the heads of the implanted screws.
To perform spine surgery using this system, your surgeon will make small incisions along the side of the spine over the vertebrae to be treated, dilate the muscles as needed and then, using the fluoroscope, guide the components of the system into place to deliver and attach the rods and screws. Once the procedure is complete, your surgeon will remove the components and close the incisions with a few stitches.