Your Complete Guide to Spinal Implants

Surgery is not required in most of the spinal conditions, however, there are times when it becomes very important for the patient to undergo one. Unique and specially designed spinal instrumentation used in the spinal implants are an integral part of all the surgical processes. One can expect these implants to provide strength to the spine and stabilize it, fix the deformities, and facilitate fusion.

The special conditions which might give rise to the need for surgery include traumatic fracture, slippage of the spine, scoliosis, and chronic degenerative disc disease apart from numerous other critical spinal instabilities.

What Are Implants?

Metals like titanium, stainless steel, and titanium-alloy are used to manufacture spinal implants whereas there are some which are made from non-metallic compounds. Patients of different ages and sizes can easily be accommodated because of the variety of shapes available in these implants.

Scientists all over the world are working hard to bring further improvements to these implants so that they can result in more favorable outcomes. In quite a few years, some breakthroughs have been achieved in this regard and they include the development of special plates, the creation of small implants for children, and enabling the doctors to correct the deformities 3-dimensionally.

Spinal Implants

The different groups of these implants are:

Rods

These rods are really strong along with being flexible which allows the surgeon to contour them according to the need of the patient while bringing alignment to the spine.

Pedicle Screws

These are the strong points which provide a place for attachment to the rods. Initially, they were used in lumbar spine only but the advancements in technology have enabled the surgeons to use them in thoracic spine as well.

Hooks

Used for anchoring purposes along with rods and other kinds of implants.

Plates

The plates help in conforming to the contouring of the spine. Screws which are adjusted in adjacent vertebrae tend to hold them in place. They can be contoured in the future as well depending on the anatomy of the patient.

Cages

Having perforated walls, these are minute hollow devices. If the height of a disc is lost because of a collapse, then cages can be used for restoration purposes and the pressure on the nerve roots is also relieved.

How To Use These Implants?

The use of these implants depends on a great volume of the specific needs of a particular patient. Titanium implants are said to be resilient and light along with allowing usage with MRIs. Low volume and low profile implants are the best options which sometimes are not visible through a scan but the bone forming and bone fusion can be inferred.

Future Of These Implants

Scientists are keenly working on bioresorbable implants which are completely gone in the matter of time when the problem is resolved. They are designed in a way that they break down when they come in contact with water.

The better treatments for patients are surfacing every now and then but the scope and usage of any kind of treatment depends a great deal on the needs of the patients.

Source: http://www.indianorthopaedic.com/implants/spinal-system.html

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