Two surgical device systems for preventing spinal collapse caused by large tumors have been developed by Massachusetts-based DePuy Synthes, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson.
The two new systems, Viper and Expedium, use fenestrated screws to create openings in the vertebrae where stabilizing cement can be injected, a DePuy Synthes release said. The technique was characterized as a “game changer” by Dr. Daniel Sciubba of Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he directs the division of spine tumor and spine deformity surgery.
“The systems are reliable and easy-to-use and can seamlessly be incorporated into open and minimally invasive approaches,” Sciubba said in the release. “The cement working characteristics, delivery system and ability to use standard hardware and tools make the systems extremely efficient.”
When used with DePuy Synthes’ cement, both the Viper and Expedium screw systems can replace previously used pedicle screws, which secured the spine to an implanted stabilizing rod, according to the consumer website Spine-Health.com.
The release said the fenestrated screw systems will ease suffering in patients who have advanced, and likely inoperable, large spinal tumors.