The Benefits of Spinal Surgery

According to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans experience lower back pain, and an estimated 80% of the United States population will endure some type of back problem at some point in their lives. For those people, finding the source of this pain is crucial in order to properly combat it, as well as prevent any future occurrences.

Back pain can be caused by poor habits or health including things like posture, improper exercise, and obesity, all of which put stress on the muscles of the vertebral column. However, spinal abnormalities can be categorized as either mechanical (mentioned above), or neurological. Neurological abnormalities of the spine involve nerve root pain, compression, or tumors. The treatment, regardless of the underlying causes, typically includes physical therapy, massages, or general medication in an attempt to relieve symptoms. In extreme cases, when standard remedies have failed, spinal surgery may be required.

If a patient is experiencing chronic pain and has a treatable spinal abnormality, surgery of the spine can be extremely beneficial. Minimally invasive techniques, which require very small incisions, cause significantly less damage to the surrounding tissue than standard operating procedures. Using a tubular retractor, surgeons are able to access the spine through the skin and soft tissue with a much smaller incision required than open surgery. This retractor holds the muscles open while the surgeon performs the necessary surgery with small tools that fit through the opening of the retractor, guided by fluoroscopy; a video of the spine projected on a screen throughout the process. Once completed, the tubular retractor is removed and the muscles are able to return to their original positions with minimal damage.

The benefits of this procedure include a faster recovery time by the patient, and much less pain following surgery. However, it’s important to note that minimally invasive techniques are not preferred for traumatic situations, tumors, or infections.

Once returning to full activity, patients are to follow a strict regimen to ensure proper recovery. Avoiding lifting heavy objects and bending or twisting at the waist is highly recommended to avoid undoing that which was done during the surgery. Working closely with a physical therapist to develop an efficient rehabilitation program should also be considered, with the ultimate goal to return to one’s daily activities without being restricted by back or neck pain.

Spinal surgery, while not always necessary, can greatly help in reducing or relieving a patient’s back pain. It is, however, important to understand that with benefits comes risks. Infections, blood clots, or herniated disks are possible reactions post back surgery, the odds of which vary depending on one’s health conditions.

For those with persistent back pain, talk to your doctor about the treatments available before you consider surgery. Though it can be extremely beneficial, it is not always suggested, as circumstances may differ. Should you choose to take that next step in relieving back pain, spinal surgery may also provide increased physical fitness, better mobility, and an overall improvement in mood; just some of the many betterments possible.

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The Trinity ELITE® Allograft

Orthofix’s impressive line of products is continued with their third generation allograft, the Trinity ELITE. Processed by the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing quality types of tissue, this fully moldable implant with viable cells provides a unique alternative to autografting.

With over 150,000 Trinity Evolution® procedures to date, the Trinity ELITE adds to the already honorable portfolio. This product focuses on the three physiological components of robust bone formation: osteoconductive scaffold (interconnected scaffold meant for bone ingrowth), verified osteoinductive potential (which is demineralized cortical bone), and a reliable number of cells contained within the bone matrix. Osteogenic cells include adult mesenchymal stem cells and osteoprogenitor cells.

Every step taken in the creation of the Trinity ELITE is done so with the intent of maximizing the health and vitality of mesenchymal cells, also called MSCs, and osteoprogenitor cells, or OPCs. Studies show that MSCs have short lifespans, and decline with age. As these cells age, their abilities to regenerate may decline as well. In Trinity ELITE, the health of these cells starts with the quality.

Before these products are created, Orthofix demands a number of requirements. These include strict donor screening processes, time-sensitive processing, controlled rate of freezing for optimal cell vitality, cryopreservation in liquid nitrogen at -185℃, and a passing of the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation’s stringent release criteria. The expiration date of Trinity ELITE products must reflect real time testing.

For those in need of surgical repair or improvements of any bone, the Trinity ELITE is the best option available. Because of its fully moldable design, its viable cells, and a minimum of 500,000 cells per cubic centimeter, Orthofix’s revolutionary product provides a potentially much more beneficial alternative to autografting.

For more on this and other products, visit Orthofix.com, and my blog BennWillcox.net!

The Orthofix Spine Fixation Portfolio

As a global medical device company focused on the improvement of patients’ lives, Orthofix offers an array of reconstructive and regenerative orthopedic and spine solutions to physicians around the world. Through minimally invasive procedures, the company provides treatment for a number of spinal complications, eliminating the need for complex surgery. Focusing on several areas of the spine, Orthofix collaborates with skilled surgeons and engineering professionals in order to give patients superior spinal solutions to enhance the quality of their lives.

Cervical

The cervical spine is a delicate, yet remarkably strong and flexible structure of vertebrae, nerves, and muscles beginning at the base of the skull, connecting to the thoracic spine. With its complex structure and daily use, this area of the spine is prone to injury and several painful conditions. Orthofix’s Centurion Posterior Occipital Cervico-Thoracic System (or POCT) for example, is one of many cervical spine solutions. This temporary component comprised of a variety of segments allows a surgeon to build a spinal implant construct along the cervical spine, intended to provide immobilization and stabilization of spinal segments that may have been affected by fractures, deformities, or degenerative diseases.

Thoracolumbar

Including both the thoracic and lumbar regions of this spine, thoracolumbar injuries are typically caused by high-impact trauma that fracture bones, degenerative diseases, or deformities. Orthofix offers many different implants and instrument platforms designed for correctional procedures, like the Forza PTC Spacer System. This implant allows the patient’s bone to grow into its surface, creating a bond between that and the implant itself, effectively correcting deformities caused by degenerative disc disease.

Deformities

Spinal deformities can be caused by a variety of reasons like unnatural curvature caused by scoliosis, or damage to the spine resulting in misshapen healing patterns. Orthofix provides products and tools needed to properly correct these deformities, including the Firebird Deformity Correction System, and Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy (or POS) set, designed to aid surgeons in these challenging procedures.

 
While the products and procedures listed above are just a few of many of Orthofix’s wide range of medical advancements, the company aims to further improve the lives of patients through collaboration with partners like the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, the Orthopedic Research and Education Foundation, and the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for children. Community involvement is another aspect of the company’s efforts, providing charitable organizations that serve underprivileged regions with monetary funding, and holding employee fundraising efforts to support the U.S. based tissue and organ donation organization Donate Life. With their devotion to bettering the lives of those with orthopedic complications around the world, Orthofix continues to set the standard for medical aid and patient care.